LEGO® Bricks as Building Blocks for Centimetre-Scale Biological Environments: The Case of Bacteria

Top view in daylight.

Top view in daylight.

Top view in the dark, with the bioluminescent bacteria visible.

Top view in the dark, with the bioluminescent bacteria visible.

Side view

Side view

Top view in the dark, with the bioluminescent bacteria visible. There are also some individual colonies.

Top view in the dark, with the bioluminescent bacteria visible. There are also some individual colonies.

Top view in daylight.

Top view in daylight.

 

 

A simple project based on the report by, and insight of, Lind et al., (2014) http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0100867

LEGO® bricks are readily available interlocking pieces of plastic, used as a building toy by many millions of children throughout the world. Here they are adapted to generate engineered environments for cm-scale biological systems, and in particular for bacteria. The unique modularity of these building blocks is used to create inexpensive and reconfigurable for environments for bacterial growth. Here a very simple LEGO® system has been used to culture the bioluminescent bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. In combination with, Microbiology at Home: A Short Non-Laboratory Manual for Enthusiasts and BioArtists 2nd Edition   (https://exploringtheinvisible.com/2013/11/04/microbiology-at-home-a-short-non-laboratory-manual-for-enthusiasts-and-bioartists-2nd-edition/),  LEGO® based microbiological systems may be an important tool for DIY Biologists, BioHackers and educationalists.

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