The Chrome-Q Light Chamber is a 3D-printed imaging measurement system used to quantify chromoproteins/color-based data. For our current project, it is used to quickly and inexpensively measure relative protein degradation through quantification of the color in chromoprotein expression.
One of the most critical variables in imaging today is the consistency of light. Different wavelengths, intensity, power, wattage, and even angling of lights can affect the result of camera imaging. To this end, the Chrome-Q is designed to control these variables of light. The dimensions and dome shape have been optimized for ideal imaging distance and lighting amount. A parallel circuit was used in order to distribute full and equal voltage to each LED in the Chrome-Q. This flowchart explains our process/iterations.
To use the Chrome-Q, first a sample must be placed in the wells in the base under the dome. Then, using the app, a phone can take a picture of the sample through the eyehole, and calculate degradation of protein by analyzing the saturation and hue values derived from the RGB values in the pixels of the samples.
As a high school lab, one of the many problems we face in research is the lack of funding and financial support. Sophisticated equipment is incredibly expensive, and so it is very hard to afford or even gain access to the necessary tools and measurement systems for our research, such as plate readers and fluorimeters, that we use to measure our circuits expression. The Chrome-Q Dome is designed to conquer the issue of the cost of a fluorimeter – instead of visualizing with fluorescence, the project uses RGB and HSV values, which can then be imaged with the chamber we built, and results can be obtained. This technology can be used by other teams and facilities for their research, and the full plan of the design is available below so that any team can build it themselves. The materials needs for the Chrome-Q costs around $100 and is easily assembled, while plate readers and fluorimeters can easily cost upwards of $12,000.
1. 3D Printer (Build Area of at least 7 x 7 x 8in)
2. Non-Reflective Spray Paint
1. All the STL files included within the file.
2. LED Lights(3, G4 LED Bulb - 2 Watt (20 Watt Equivalent) Bi-Pin LED Disc - White - 170 Lumens - Natural White)
3. 9-Volt batteries(2)
4. Wire (18-22 gauge, at personal discretion)
5. 3 Ohm Resistor(2)
Circuit design layout for the Chrome-Q system
For best results, print at a slow speed to ensure the best outcome possible and make sure the 3D printer is tuned correctly. Print each of the Parts at any desired infill percentage and layer height. Also, it’s recommended to print with brims so it does not curl when printing. If need be, the SLDPRT versions are included in the file. Be sure to wire the circuit with the batteries in a daisy-chain, with the resistors placed after the power source. The design will work if powered by a outlet, we used batteries to power the circuit in order to make it easily portable.
1. Transfer all the STL files into preferred slicing software.
2. Change settings accordingly to the printer.
3. Orient the parts where it can be printed easiest.
4. Convert it into GCODE files.
5. Transfer the GCODE files into preferred printing software.
6. Start Printing.
7. Carefully remove the prints.
8. Sand any defects
9. Test that the dome fits on base.
10. Build parallel circuit with batteries and LEDs.
11. Align circuit such that LEDs fit into slots.
*Note: If you are interested in 3D-printing the Chrome-Q Light Chamber, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the program print files.
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Purple color codes. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2017, from http://www.rapidtables.com/web/color/purple-color.htm
RGB Color Gradient Maker. (n.d.). Retrieved October 10, 2017, from http://www.perbang.dk/rgbgradient/
Tamura, K., Shimada, T., Ono, E., Tanaka, Y., Nagatani, A., Higashi, S., . . . Hara-Nishimura, I. (2003, September). Why green fluorescent fusion proteins have not been observed in the vacuoles of higher plants. The Plant Journal, 35(4), 545-555. doi:10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01822.x