College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Biomedical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Biomedical Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Biomedical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Biomedical Engineering

College - Author 3

College of Engineering

Department - Author 3

Biomedical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 3

BS in Biomedical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Ben Hawkins, College of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Department

Additional Advisors

Michael Whitt, College of Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Department


The DIY Clean Hood is a low-cost, sterile, and accessible scientific workspace intended for installation in the BioElectroFluidics Lab of California Polytechnic State University’s (San Luis Obispo) Biomedical Engineering Department (BMED), under the sponsorship of Dr. Benjamin Hawkins, PhD. As normal Clean Hood, Biosafety Cabinets, and the like are generally too expensive for a university, a competitive solution to an expensive problem can assist research students and professors alike continue their own work with an inexpensive yet effective environment.

Specific design elements that the customer requirements entailed for the project include a low-particle-count air filtration system, positive pressure air flow inside the vessel, and compatibility with common cleaning agents. These critical details for the DIY Clean Hood are to ensure that the cell cultures being cultivated and studied are free from any foreign contaminants or agents that could compromise the product. Unlike the original, mislabeled identification of the project as a “DIY Biosafety Cabinet”, it is not the responsibility of the Clean Hood to protect either the environment or the user of the DIY Clean Hood. Despite the non-hazardous conditions of the cells being manipulated, proper design components and features ensure sterility and effectiveness. Other notable design elements of the DIY Clean Hood include a 15 degree angled, swinging sash opening, an air filtration system utilizing a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, an installed UV light for an additional sterilization option, and a wide opening for comfortable mobility while using the Clean Hood. The project was a recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Department’s Hannah-Forbes Grant, which allows the DIY Clean Hood project an additional $500 towards any necessary purchases and bringing the total budget to $700.

Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project required its focus to shift from a manufacturing and qualification testing standpoint to a more design and technically-centered frame, as several factors prevented the project from proceeding originally as planned. These included, but were not limited to, the closure of manufacturing and assembly facilities on the Cal Poly campus, anticipated delays in material acquisition due to non-essential items, social distancing of team members, and limited alternative build options. This decision was agreed upon in correspondence with project sponsor Dr. Hawkins, Engineering Design overseer Dr. Michael Whitt, and the members of the DIY Clean Hood Team.

As a result, the DIY Clean Hood prepared a final, detailed design for the product to ensure all customer requirements were met in approaches the team thought would provide the best performance and usability; the BioElectroFluidics lab will find a team of their own in late 2020 to build the device using the enclosed detailed designs, and qualify the product with the DIY Clean Hood’s testing protocols.