For my last project for Pete’s class I’ve been making a neopixel light painter, an arduino controlled LED strip for painting digital images over long exposures.  My background in photography made me naturally curious to try it and what better subject matter then flourescent microscopy! Many fluorescent microscopes work by rastering a tiny point of light across the sample, so dragging and LED strip to replay the image seems appropriate, somehow.  I would like to play around with scale, in how the images are juxtaposed with their surroundings.  Anyway, there is amazing documentation on how to build a light painter here:  Warning: neopixels are not the cheapest.

After some adventures in soldiering and troubleshooting loose connections I am proud to present my fluorescent cell painting stick!


The cell nucleus (often stained blue with a DNA stain called dapi) would make awesome moon(s) on the horizon, I think.  Vesicles often look like little glowing dots swimming around the cell- perfect for stars.

Here is the gorgeous user interface:unnamed


The images are stored on an SD card as 24 bit BMP, 144 pixels wide (=#LEDs).  Below is the SD card shield.


In action:


Above: drosophila larva trachea structures.  Stay turned for more fluorescent microscopy around the city!