The Mechanical Workshop was involved in a project to design an environmental chamber and controller. It was required for an experiment involving the discovery and exploitation of target(s) for imaging Barrett's oesophagus. The system contains cancer cells and replicates the environment of the human body at physiological temperatures (37 °C) and at 5% CO2. These conditions ensure that the cells stay alive for longer periods of time, enabling researchers to perform prolonged tests.
The system has been constructed in two parts: the environmental chamber and controller. The chamber consist of a bespoke stage plate capable of holding a variety of well plate configurations, a temperature and CO2 sensor, a gas channel plate that ensures even distribution of CO2 and a PCB board that heats the chamber to the desired conditions.
The controller is set up to enable researchers to monitor and adjust the environmental conditions of the chamber. It contains two PID controllers that control the percentage of both temperature and CO2.