Hello! Welcome to micROS—a collaboration between McGill Biodesign and the McGill Rocket Team! Together, we are investigating the changes in levels of reactive oxidative species in microgravity and hyper gravity environments. Our McGill Biodesign team is focused on designing 1) the microfluidic chip composed of channels for the flow of reagents and a microwell holding the cells and where the reaction will take, 2) the perfusion system for timely and efficient delivery of reagents to the microwell containing the cells, and 3) the hydrogel that the cells will be embedded in to keep them alive throughout the experiment.
The perfusion subteam is working on a peristaltic pump to drive the reagents through the chip. It will be composed of 3D printed parts as well as a motor controlled by an Arduino. The peristaltic pump relies on the driving force of rollers, which compress tubes and create a pressure difference, drawing fluid into the tube and allowing fluid flow. We will use this concept by powering a motor attached to rollers in order to push reagants into the microfluidic chip, modifying the rpm to suit the needs of the macrophage experiment.
We are designing and manufacturing a microfluidic chip that combines and precisely channels reagents to reach a microwell the moment the chip experiences microgravity and hypergravity during a rocket's flight. Our channel design utilizes passive mixing techniques, such as serpentine channels and J-shaped baffles, to promote the dispersion of the reagents. The channel then splits to optimize the distribution of the reagents across the microwell, whilst reducing the likelihood of bubbles. After analysing the fluid flow through the chip, using computational fluid dynamics, we are looking to use affordable manufacturing methods, such as the “Shrinky Dink” method, to prototype our design. Once finalized, we hope to 3D print our microfluidic chip at a higher resolution.
The hydrogel subteam is working on the hydrogel that will contain the macrophages inside the microfluidic chip. The hydrogel will be composed of an HA-PEG composite crosslinked with collagen to simulate the macrophages' natural microenvironment. The mechanical properties and biocompatibility of the hydrogel make it an excellent choice to contain the macrophages during our experiment.
Hi everyone! My name is Mary and I’m a U2 Bioeng student in my 3rd year, and I’m the team lead for the Microfludiics project for this year. I am responsible for ensuring that the project runs smoothly, coordinating with subteam leaders and with the MRT team and contacting our mentor. In my free time, I enjoy nature walks and hiking in Banff, working with little kids, and watching hockey.