HRSL/Kearney Lab BioClockBot
Circadian (24hr) rhythms are fundamental to biological systems. However, they are largely ignored in tissue engineering. Maintaining these rhythms in in vitro tissue cultures is difficult. It requires (1) delivering circadian signals with high timing accuracy; (2) collecting data with high time resolution; and (3) aligning local therapeutic delivery with circadian rhythms. If performed manually, an experimenter would have to meticulously follow a grueling schedule, interacting with the tissue culture every 6 hours, every day for multiple weeks.
The HRSL/Kearney Lab BioClockBot is a robotic system that will automate this experimental process for tissue cultures. This robot will allow for first-of-their-kind experiments in tissue engineering. It will enable biomedical engineers to investigate the effect of circadian rhythms on the rate of tissue regeneration. In addition, consideration of circadian rhythms will make in vitro 3D tissue models more accurately mimic in vivo conditions, which will improve drug discovery and development.
This project is funded by NIH-1R35GM147272 (PI: Kearney) and a UMass Interdisciplinary Faculty Research award (co-PIs: Kearney, Huber, and Karatsoreos).