P18081: Mechanical Bioreactor

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Final Demo and Handoff

The goal for this phase was to complete the device and run test experiments. The mechanical and electrical systems of the device were completed and were able to execute multiple two hour tests in the incubator. The experiment conditions of strain percentage and frequency could be modified using an accompanying Arduino code.

Difficulty with the cell culture system was encountered. The team had difficulty attaching and imaging cells to the PDMS with recommended extracellular matrix conditions. A basic pH imparted by some part of the system was thought to be responsible for poor cell viability.

Customer Requirements

Figure 1: Overview of which customer requirements were met at conclusion of project.

Figure 1: Overview of which customer requirements were met at conclusion of project.

Test Results Summary

Several issues arose with cell culture during this last phase of design. These issues have left some test parameters incomplete or unsatisfactory. Once the device is fully functional, these tests can be revisited and finalized (if so desired). Follow this link for all Testing Results.

Future Work

Unresolved issues and potential recommendations for action have been identified by the team. These include:

  1. PDMS surface treatment
    • plasma treatment, change hydrophobic properties of PDMS surface
    • consider alternative ECM coatings/procedures
  2. Investigate pH issues
    • analyze carbon dioxide diffusion within chamber design
  3. Brainstorm better method of transportation
    • develop an improved process of moving mold in and out of incubator sterilely
    • ability to image mold in holder may also resolve sterility issues

Final Project Documentation

Links have been provided below for all of the project's documentation. (The manual includes outlines for troubleshooting)

Full Bioreactor Protocol

Arduino Code

Mechanical Drawings

Technical Paper


Functional Demo Materials

TEAM MYSCLE'S Final Demo Presentation can be found here.

Concluding Remarks

The team successfully created a device that stretched a cell chamber with up to 20% strain and up to 1 Hz frequency. The device demonstrated robust function in an incubator setting, which provided a nurturing environment for the mammalian cell culture. Issues with cell attachment were seen using both 50 micrograms/mL rat collagen and 10 micrograms/mL fibrinogen as extracellular matrices. Poor cell attachment could be attributed to basic or hydrophobic properties in the PDMS chamber that were not supportive of cell viability. In the future, surface treatments to make the PDMS more hydrophilic are recommended. Different ECM coatings could also be investigated. Once robust cell culture has been achieved, users can customize experiments with up to 20% strain and up to 1 Hz frequency using the device coding provided.

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