Case Study: Magnetic Cell Membrane Instrument
We worked with SpinTec to provide them with a custom permanent magnetic instrument to maniuplate their magnetic cell membrane within a CO2 controlled biological cell incubator. This involved working with their engineers who had different design ideas, we distilled down these ideas and produced a 3D CAD concept which allowed them to evaluate the design before we took it forward into development and build. The instrument had to interact with a 6 well microtitre plate which contained their membrane and the cell culture. The whole assembly had to be remotely controlled and observed from within a cell culture incubator.
Designing the System
We utilised SolidWorks for the initial design proposals as the scientific team had various ideas about the instruments design and construction, especially around the size constraints imposed by the culture chamber. We were able to produce 3D CAD of the concepts and let the scientists view the models to see the pros and cons of each design. Once a concensus was reached we were able to continue with the development and build, safe in the knowledge that the instrument would meet the requirements and expectations of the team.
Using 3D CAD software is helpful for us internally as we can design closely coupled parts, electronics and optics .
This was a straight forward project and only consisted of a few machined parts and a small control box which contained some firmware which took the desired speed setting and converted this into a drive signal to the motor, with the RPM showing on a digital display. The mechanical design featured an interchangeable magnetic array disk so that for future experiments new configurations could be designed and tested.
This project is due for publication so more information and a link to the journal will appear here in due course.