Project Code: 17062
Project Title: Macular Degeneration Evaluation System
Project Type: Faculty
Project Intellectual Property: Student Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering
Description: Project goal: To design a perfusion system for the dynamic culture of retinal pigment epithelial tissue that allows protein quantification. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States. The designed system will contribute to a better understanding of cell behavior and function,and could lead to preventative treatment. The system built allows liquid media to feed retinal pigment epithelial cells growing inside a customer-furnished perfusion chamber. The design uses a flow-rate model to determine optimal pumping rate based on tubing specifications, and incorporates an automated collection carousel to gather hourly samples of proteins emitted from the perfusion chamber. Proteins are sampled using a microcontroller to rotate a collection plate mounted upon a stepper motor shaft. The user can control how often protein samples are collected by modifying the software read by the microcontroller. The proteins can later be quantified from the liquid samples to provide more in-depth information about tissue-substrate interaction.