Micro-electro-physiology @ HAIP, Ljubljana

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Background Info

Electrochemistry of Plant Life

Electrochemistry Encyclopedia

Video of extracellular measurement of action potential of the venus flytrap

paper about A low-noise multi-channel device for the monitoring of systemic electrical signal propagation in plants


On Measuring

Analog to Digital Converter (ADC)


Using the arduino we can measure analog voltages using the 6 Inputs ADC. The analog voltage between 0 and 5 V is converted into a 10bit digital number, from 0 to 1023. this can be used to read a value from a sensor, eg a temperature sensor such as the TMP36, a potentiometer or from the electrodes.

Sound Card - Line In

If the potentials we want to measure are mostly changes/modulations in voltages, we can also use the analog-to-digital converter from the sound card. Although that means we cannot measure static voltages, but only fast changes changes, frequencies above ~ 1hz. The sound card is a very fast and precise ADC (single if mono, or double for stereo), sampling at 44khz or up to 96khz and 24 bit resolution.


If the signals are to low, such as µV in the example of potentials in plants, we need to amplify the signal and make sure we do not have too much noise or other garbage in our signals. INA118 is a high end instrumental amplifier, with low noise. But maybe cheaper amp might do the trick aswell, such as the LM386


If we want to measure more inputs we can multiplex them. meaning we measure one input at the time using a chip (4051), which got 8 inputs which are then routed to one single input on the arduino. read more about using the 4051 multiplexer/demultiplexer


because every conducting wire, electrode or other parts of a measurement setup are also acting kinda as "antennas", its easy to pick up some artefacts, noise, humms from the electromagnetic environment. typical stuff the measure are the 50Hz humming from all the electric power and lamps or "biipbuupbiiiiip" from mobile phones. to prevent these one can use shielded cables or build a faraday cage around the whole setup.

DIY Glass Pipette Electrodes

Micro Electrode Arrays (MEA)

HEXAtrode silver coated.jpg

DIY Microscopy

To be able to observe the pipette we can build our own hacked digital microscopes, using cheap webcams, surveillance video cams or the PS3 eye. see more on the hackteria page.

Slime Mold

preparation of growth media

culture method

Slime mold culture.jpg

Slime 40h-5.jpg

Further links to Slimes

paper about growing slime mold as a map of japan

Plant S.M.E.L.A

Measuring things schematics.jpg


Plant smela v01.jpg


Venus Fly Trap

Venus fly trap measurement.jpg

Slime Mold

Slime measurement.jpg


testing the microsphone input from webcam as ADC

Measurements batterie2microphone cam.png


slime-recording, but measuring something else

Measurements mobilephone.png


we made it, measuring potentials from venus fly trap

Measuring it.png

Test electro no filter.png

Test electro 50hz filter.png

Patches for measuring

LineIn Oscilloscope

LineIn oscilloscope.png

Smela Patches


Marc Dusseiller, dusjagr labs

Špela Petrič,

Andrej Meglič,

rough schedule


  • Introduction
  • Experiments in manufacturing DIY electrodes
  • intro into DIY microscopy
  • using audio and pd for data measurement
  • using arduino and pd the measure/visualize data
  • start fungi cultures and preparations of plants
  • Setup of measurement setup


  • Preparation of amplifiers and multiplexers
  • Setup of measurement setup
  • Experiments with plant recordings


  • Wrap-up Workshop: Introduction into all techniques developed
  • Preparations of individual pages for a publication using the diffusion layout.

Material for the Book

Example of book about DIY microscopy for Kids (german only)

Interesting Links





Material to bring

Tools we need

Last minute orders