Information Services is currently working with a Biology Dept faculty member to design a feature-rich yet inexpensive concentrator/evaporator to be used to facilitate the preparations of biological samples for characterization and other experiments.

As shown in the OpenSCAD design to the right, it consists of 3 components:

  • test tube holder (yellow) – this piece holds the 24 test tubes (blue) with individual samples rigidly yet carefully.
  • stand (green) – this piece holds the test tube holder and allows one to monitor the sample at the bottom of the test tubes.
  • gas manifold (pink) – this piece has 24 female luer-lock style adapters that allow fitting 24 syringe needles.  There is a gas distribution system within the manifold block that takes pressured nitrogen gas and distributes it to the 24 syringe needles.

In operation, the manifold is lowered to allow the syringes to sink into the aqueous biological samples in the test tubes. With a very slight pressure, the nitrogen gas helps evaporate the solvent, increasing the concentration in the sample.

Although there are commercial options, most are prohibitively expensive and do not have the flexibility to be used in an undergraduate lab.

When complete, this design will be published into the public domain for other institutions to use and/or adapt for their needs.