Announcements - Aestuarium
Ivan, Jonathan and Tibi are working this week with the cell gym at Montreal Heart Institute, lab of Dr. Philippe Comtois. The main goal is to test the first prototype and to learn how to produce and manipulate matrigel, which will serve as template for muscle tissue culture.
Ivan and Jonathan priming the matrigel cast.
The cell gym has multiple functions
The cell gym will be integrated with the Mosquito Scientific Instrument and the Piezo xyz into the Aestuarium, to allow the user to perform experiments on the artificial muscle tissue with minimal manipulation.
At this moment we are only exploring the mechanical properties of the solid matrigel in order to fine-tune our recipe before inoculation and incubation for tissue growth.
After casting, the matrigel template is lifted from the mold by lifting the pillars and the mold is removed from the bath (see picture above). The matrigel will be inoculated, the bath will be filled with growth media and everything will go into an incubator. During the growth period the pillars will continuously stretch the sample following a specific training protocol. The incubation takes a few days.
A stepper motor was mounted on the cell gym to allow training. This motor is driven by a Pololu stepper motor driver in conjunction with a LabJack DAC card, operated with a LabView computer program (open document for more details).
We already see some problems with the design of the cell gym and Ivan is already thinking about the next iteration of this prototype. This experience also gives us ideas about the future integration of the cell gym into the Aestuarium.
Are you interested? Please contact the community to get involved in this project.