A low cost, customizable turbidostat for use in synthetic circuit characterization

ACS Synth Biol. 2015 Jan 16;4(1):32-8. doi: 10.1021/sb500165g. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


Engineered biological circuits are often disturbed by a variety of environmental factors. In batch culture, where the majority of synthetic circuit characterization occurs, environmental conditions vary as the culture matures. Turbidostats are powerful characterization tools that provide static culture environments; however, they are often expensive, especially when purchased in custom configurations, and are difficult to design and construct in a lab. Here, we present a low cost, open source multiplexed turbidostat that can be manufactured and used with minimal experience in electrical or software engineering. We demonstrate the utility of this system to profile synthetic circuit behavior in S. cerevisiae. We also demonstrate the flexibility of the design by showing that a fluorometer can be easily integrated.

Keywords: characterization; continuous culture; fluorescence detection; turbidostat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Microbiological Techniques / instrumentation
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Synthetic Biology / instrumentation*