Student Projects

Penn iGEM 2021 & the OptoReader

The Penn 2021 iGEM team engineered a novel device for high-throughout optical stimulation, measurement, and feedback in microwell plates to impact the ways in which optogenetics can be studied. The project is continuing beyond the iGEM competition.

Through the international competition, the team:

  • was ranked the top 10 overall from over 200 undergraduate teams (only US team)

  • won #1 best presentation of all from over 200 undergraduate teams

  • won #1 best hardware of all from over 200 undergraduate teams

  • won #1 Foundational Advance of all 25 undergraduate teams in this track

  • was ranked Top 10 website of over 200 undergraduate teams

  • received a gold medal distinction


Photo Gallery

Website: https://2021.igem.org/Team:UPenn

OptoReader in our BioMaker Space



Presenting in our BioMaker Space


Team in our BioMaker Space


Penn iGEM 2019 & Open-Source Wax Printer

The Penn iGEM 2019 team developed an open-source wax printer for cheaply making paper microfluidic devices for education and research. They designed an extruder which can fit onto a 3D printer.

Photo Gallery

Website: https://2019.igem.org/Team:Penn

wax printer in our BioMaker Space





Penn iGEM 2017 & Open-Source Plate Reader

The Penn iGEM 2017 team developed an open-source plate reader. The project continued, creating a more advanced device. The design was published in the American Chemical Society's journal, Biochemistry and later profiled in the journal, Nature.

Photo Gallery

Nature profile: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01590-z

Paper: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00952

Penn Engineering Article: https://medium.com/penn-engineering/penn-undergrads-make-biology-more-accessible-with-open-source-plate-reader-23bedf3e0931




using the OSP in our BioMaker Space


ProtoFluidics: Student Group's design to be printed on ISS

Three students won a competition to develop a 3-D printed design to be printed aboard the International Space Station.

NSS Article: https://space.nss.org/enterprise-in-space-program-announces-winners-for-its-print-the-future-competition-to-3d-print-on-international-space-station/



Penn iGEM 2013

The Penn iGEM 2013 team worked on a method to "Engineer the Epigenome". The team won the North America iGEM competition.

Team Website: http://2013.igem.org/Team:Penn

Penn Engineering Article: https://news.seas.upenn.edu/penn-igem-team-wins-regional-competition-with-novel-epigenetic-engineering-toolbox/


in our BioMaker Space


Penn iGEM 2012

The Penn iGEM 2012 team worked on a method for targeted therapeutics through engineering cells. The team won the North America iGEM competition and later had their work published through the American Chemical Society's journal, Synthetic Biology.

Team Website: http://2012.igem.org/Team:Penn

Paper: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/sb400174s

Penn Engineering Article: https://news.seas.upenn.edu/bioengineering-undergrads-win-regional-award-at-igem-competition/