Which bioreactors should we use?

Once you have determined which protein you wish to cultivate, the next question is what you are going to cultivate it in. There is a need for development of better and more efficient bioreactors across the board - but, given the nature of this project, it makes sense to, at least initially, restrict our scope to open source bioreactors.

Bioreactor Shortlist


“The Pioreactor is an open-source, affordable, and extensible bioreactor platform.

It currently comes in a cute and cost-effective 20 ml version that can be used in batch, fed batch, continuous, chemostat, turbidostat & PID morbidostat modes. While the software is already open source, we understand from the founder that the hardware and 3D designs are due to be made open source in 2023.

Exciting features for AMYBO (as of June 2023):

  • it appears to be more affordable than most automated bioreactors
  • it will soon be fully open source, hence customisable
  • it is clearly under active development
  • it is available for sale with excellent lead times
  • you can add LEDs as a light source for algae
  • the system is compatible with DormantBioLabResources’ open source modular lab racks

Wish list (as of June 2023):

  1. Ability to automatically upload results to a project cloud database
  2. larger vessels - so probes can be added
  3. Easy-open viewport cover (it currently requires 4 screws)
  4. 3D printer files - to minimise shipping cost & carbon, and enable community development
  5. Ability to control temperature below ambient
  6. Ability to wall-mount for bioreactor farms & video production
  7. Fully assembled units (including pre-configured raspberry pi’s) for technophobes
  8. Global stockists - to reduce shipping time, cost and carbon
  9. A way to be certain that reactor overflow isn’t going to fry your raspberry pi

Other Open Source Bioreactors

Hackuarium bioreactor

Watch also Open source bioreactor

Concerns (as of June 2023):

  1. last commit was 7 months ago
  2. It doesn’t appear to be commercially available although full assembly instructions and a detailed bill of materials are given

DIY Wave Bioreactor

Also see resources on Ottawa Bio Science Website)

Concerns (as of October 2023):

  1. last commit was 1 year ago
  2. It doesn’t currently have an active OD reader although plans for it have been articulated


Watch Photobioreactor (Phenobottle)

Concerns (as of June 2023):

  1. last commit was 2 years ago


See also biorxiv article

Concerns (as of June 2023):

  1. last commit was 2 years ago

New Harvest Open Source Bioreactor

See also IRNAS

Concerns (as of June 2023):

  1. last commit was 3 years ago

Biomaker Open Source Bioreactor Project

See also Biomakespace and Hackster

Concerns (as of June 2023):

  1. last commit was 5 years ago.
  2. chat channel is a dead link

Other lists of open-source bioreactors

Last modified April 23, 2024: Case change (76adfbf)