BioHack Academy 4 – Week 1

This week we made sterile hoods (a.k.a clean benches).

If you take a moment and tune in to your inner Moyashimon vision you will see all sorts of particles flying around you. Dust, mold spores, microbes etc. That’s why, when conducting experiments in the lab, we need to maintain a sterile area where we can work in so that nothing unwanted contaminates our experiments. We made sterile hoods for our Biosafety level 1 lab (in which only well known organisms that don’t harm humans are used). These hoods maintain a clean working area by providing a constant flow of sterile air.

Instead of buying existing lab devices, there are a few reasons for making your own: to save money, to customise the equipment to your needs / lab space, etc. But it’s only through making that you will get to learn what design is important for that device.

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For example, in the case of the sterile hood you will have to keep in mind…

  • How will you filter the air?
  • In what direction will you make the sterile air flow?
  • Is the flow strong enough?
  • Will any turbulence occur?
  • Are you able to wipe the inside clean with ethanol?
  • Can your hands and glass flasks enter the hood?

Though using the same materials, both teams came up with different designs with their own creative touch. Great job!

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We also brainstormed ideas for test tube racks which range from creative to crazy. We will be makings some of these soon, so stay tuned!

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