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Small Animal Fluorescent Imaging System


Laboratory grade in vivo fluorescence imaging systems for small animals require units that can cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is not a reasonable figure for small universities and research centers that want access to this niche capability. Our team set out to make in vivo fluorescence imaging accessible to anyone in any research setting for the price of a few hundred dollars.

This is accomplished using a black acrylic and PLA structure, a raspberry pi, and an acrylic lens. The structure itself is completely light-tight and includes a means by which to adjust sample height and swap physical filters. The included software allows a user to take photographs, store the images in different formats, and export them to an off-site location. The total cost of all combined components is $367. Along with the physical product, our team produced a set of assembly instructions, use instructions, and a software repository. This project is intended to be open sourced, allowing researchers all over the world the opportunity to build their own system and use our software. With this solution, the obstacles to in vivo fluorescence imaging research have been drastically reduced.

Team Members

  • Allen DeGroot
  • Lydia Jameson
  • Kramer Kilroy
  • Michael Smith
  • Robert Smith

The Client

  • Dr. Kevin Cash
  • Colorado School of Mines Chemical and Biological Engineering


Project Advisor: Dr. Yosef Allam

Technical Advisor: Dr. Chris Coulston

Donations Made by: Dr. Kevin Cash, and Colorado School of Mines Chemical and Biological Engineering