Wired Petri Dish Gives Real-Time Updates

Cells are grown directly on top of ePetri’s image sensor less than the size of a dime, the same type used in cell phones

Image credit: Technology Review

By Katharine Gammon

A new prototype petri dish can create an image of what’s growing on it and send that information to a laptop, all from inside an incubator. The prototype, dubbed the ePetri, was created from Lego blocks and a cell-phone image sensor, and uses light from a Google Android smart phone.

“Normally, one leaves the cells in an incubator and just checks up on them from time to time,” says Michael Elowitz, a professor of biology at Caltech, who coauthored the paper. “With ePetri, it’s like getting continuous tweets from the cells rather than an occasional postcard.”



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