Melisenda Jean McDonald, Chemistry, Emmanuelle Reynaud, Mechanical Engineering, Daniel Schmidt, Plastics Engineering, Xingwei Wang, Electrical and Computer Engineering
This project is a multidisciplinary endeavor between the members of chemistry and several engineering departments. Our overall objective is to develop a non-invasive, real-time method for replenishing key cell culture media components. A novel hydrogel system will release the desired nutrient, buffer and dye components in response to pH changes in the feeding cells. A low-cost, on-line, non-invasive optical system to monitor cell growth and viability is also being developed. This cell-driven self-feed bioprocess will provide cells their food "on-demand" improving therapeutic protein output; will continuously monitor cell parameters; and will be independent of human intervention thus saving "people" hours and lowering the possibility of contamination from multiple feeding and monitoring chores that are quite familiar to the bench scientist.