Joseph Elsbernd

Lego Electrophoresis Box

If there ever was a recipe for success it would certainly include Legos and Biology.

Gel Electrophoresis allows the sorting of molecules based on size and charge and is a very common and useful technique in molecular biology. Like most lab hardware is quite expensive for what it is, a fancy tupperware container with two wires. Luckily if you happen to have a laser cutter*, you can build your own using a sheet of acrylic and welding glue.

But even that was too complicated for Joseph Elsbernd, who using a few legos and a bit of acetone built a really nice gel boat and electrophoresis chamber. All it’s missing is one of the legos with a hole on each side combined with banana plugs to supply the voltage, some 3D printed combs and you are ready to run gels.

*If you don’t have a laser cutter, you should see if there is one to use at your local hackerspace or there are people online(like IOrodeo) selling precut templates.


Lego Gel Boat

Lego Electrophoresis Chamber

Lego Electrophoresis Chamber

Electrophoresis Gel

Via CheapAssScience

Cheap A** Microscope Incubator

Joseph Elsbernd, a Graduate student out of UC Davis Med Center, has built a rather ingenious tool for keeping his cultures warm while on the microscope. Using some pvc, plastic sheeting, a bit of duck tape and a hair dryer he built a fully encompassing incubator for his microscope.

I especially like the picture below showing how his first version was literally just a cardboard box.

Versions of Microscope Incubator

Versions of Microscope Incubator

You can check out more pictures of the incubator at Josephs blog: Cheep A** Science