openFrame: an open source approach to fluorescence microscopy

We are developing an open microscopy hardware platform that aims to enable modular, upgradeable and easily maintained microscope systems to be assembled rapidly using a core modular microscope frame with add-on modules such as excitation couplers or illuminators and camera systems that can be implemented using widely available commercial components and systems. We intend this microscopy platform to be controlled using MicroManager and we will share our software as we develop it, as well as the CAD designs and component lists so that other researchers can easily replicate the instrumentation or adapt it to their requirements. 


To download a 3D PDF of openFrame, please download this file and view it in Acrobat, as this may not display properly in a browser: openFrame animation PDF

‌The openFrame was designed in a collaboration between the Photonics Group and Optomechanical Instrumentation Workshop in the Physics Department at Imperial College London, and Cairn Research Ltd. The computer-aided design (CAD) files for the first openFrame design were made by Simon Johnson at Imperial, where Frederik Görlitz implemented and tested the first prototype. The CAD files for the second (current) design were made by Frederik Görlitz and Callum Hollick at Cairn, with input and feedback from Sunil Kumar (who constructed and tested the prototype at Imperial), Paul French (Imperial) and Jeremy Graham (Cairn). Chris Dunsby, Martin Kehoe, Jonathan Lightley and Mark Neil from Imperial also contributed to the openFrame design. 

The most recent CAD files for openFrame components can be downloaded here: openFrame CAD 20210416  for research groups to make their own openFrame components. Alternatively, these components can be purchased from Cairn Research Ltd

If you would like to see a components list for a complete microscope implemented on an openFrame, please see this  , including ‌our openExcite illuminator, a camera port and an excitation source. This list includes an objective lens and motorised focus control components that have been tested on the system.