Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Dec 21;11(12):e0167583. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167583. eCollection 2016.

A Modular and Affordable Time-Lapse Imaging and Incubation System Based on 3D-Printed Parts, a Smartphone, and Off-The-Shelf Electronics.

Author information

Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Gradientech AB, Uppsala Science Park, Uppsala, Sweden.


Time-lapse imaging is a powerful tool for studying cellular dynamics and cell behavior over long periods of time to acquire detailed functional information. However, commercially available time-lapse imaging systems are expensive and this has limited a broader implementation of this technique in low-resource environments. Further, the availability of time-lapse imaging systems often present workflow bottlenecks in well-funded institutions. To address these limitations we have designed a modular and affordable time-lapse imaging and incubation system (ATLIS). The ATLIS enables the transformation of simple inverted microscopes into live cell imaging systems using custom-designed 3D-printed parts, a smartphone, and off-the-shelf electronic components. We demonstrate that the ATLIS provides stable environmental conditions to support normal cell behavior during live imaging experiments in both traditional and evaporation-sensitive microfluidic cell culture systems. Thus, the system presented here has the potential to increase the accessibility of time-lapse microscopy of living cells for the wider research community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Gradientech AB provided support in the form of salaries for the author NFK, but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of this author are articulated in the 'author contributions' section. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center