Modular laboratories--cost-effective and sustainable infrastructure for resource-limited settings

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Dec;91(6):1074-8. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0054. Epub 2014 Sep 15.


High-quality laboratory space to support basic science, clinical research projects, or health services is often severely lacking in the developing world. Moreover, the construction of suitable facilities using traditional methods is time-consuming, expensive, and challenging to implement. Three real world examples showing how shipping containers can be converted into modern laboratories are highlighted. These include use as an insectary, a molecular laboratory, and a BSL-3 containment laboratory. These modular conversions have a number of advantages over brick and mortar construction and provide a cost-effective and timely solution to offer high-quality, user-friendly laboratory space applicable within the developing world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Laboratories / organization & administration*
  • Resource Allocation*