An open-source automated magnetic optical density meter for analysis of suspensions of magnetic cells and particles


We present a spectrophotometer (optical density meter) combined with electromagnets dedicated to the analysis of suspensions of magnetotactic bacteria. The instrument can also be applied to suspensions of other magnetic cells and magnetic particles. We have ensured that our system, called MagOD, can be easily reproduced by providing the source of the 3D prints for the housing, electronic designs, circuit board layouts, and microcontroller software. We compare the performance of our system to existing adapted commercial spectrophotometers. In addition, we demonstrate its use by analyzing the absorbance of magnetotactic bacteria as a function of their orientation with respect to the light path and their speed of reorientation after the field has been rotated by 90°. We continuously monitored the development of a culture of magnetotactic bacteria over a period of 5 days and measured the development of their velocity distribution over a period of one hour. Even though this dedicated spectrophotometer is relatively simple to construct and cost-effective, a range of magnetic field-dependent parameters can be extracted from suspensions of magnetotactic bacteria. Therefore, this instrument will help the magnetotactic research community to understand and apply this intriguing micro-organism.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Additional Information: © 2022 Author(s). Published under an exclusive license by AIP Publishing. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. The following article appeared in Marcel K. Welleweerd, Tijmen Hageman, Marc Pichel, Dave van As, Hans Keizer, Jordi Hendrix, Mina M. Micheal, Islam S. M. Khalil, Alveena Mir, Nuriye Korkmaz, Robbert Kräwinkel, Daniel M. Chevrier, Damien Faivre, Alfred Fernandez-Castane, Daniel Pfeiffer, and Leon Abelmann , "An open-source automated magnetic optical density meter for analysis of suspensions of magnetic cells and particles", Review of Scientific Instruments 93, 094101 (2022) and may be found at
Uncontrolled Keywords: Instrumentation
Publication ISSN: 1089-7623
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 07:21
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2022 14:15
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://aip.sci ... .1063/5.0098008 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-09-16
Accepted Date: 2022-08-17
Authors: Welleweerd, Marcel K.
Hageman, Tijmen
Pichel, Marc
van As, Dave
Keizer, Hans
Hendrix, Jordi
Micheal, Mina M.
Khalil, Islam S. M.
Mir, Alveena
Korkmaz, Nuriye
Kräwinkel, Robbert
Chevrier, Daniel M.
Faivre, Damien
Fernandez-Castane, Alfred (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2572-7797)
Pfeiffer, Daniel
Abelmann, Leon



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