The poseidon syringe pump and microscope system is an open source alternative to commercial systems. It costs less than $400 and can be assembled in under an hour using the instructions and source files available at https://pachterlab.github.io/poseidon. We describe the poseidon system and use it to illustrate design principles that can facilitate the adoption and development of open source bioinstruments. The principles are functionality, robustness, simplicity, modularity, benchmarking, and documentation.
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