Human Robot Systems Lab

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.

In addition to the researchers listed below, two senior capstone design teams (S23 Team BioClockBot) contributed to the design and fabrication of this robot.

This project is funded by NIH-1R35GM147272 (PI: Kearney) and a UMass Interdisciplinary Faculty Research award (co-PIs: Kearney, Huber, and Karatsoreos).

Contributing Researchers

woman with robot
Meghan E. Huber
Assistant Professor, MIE
irish man in a button down shirt
Cathal Kearney
Assistant Professor, BME
man in button down shirt
Ilia Karatsoreos
Associate Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Kelly Zhang
PhD Student, BME
Picture of Soumya Vadicharla
Soumya Vadicharla
Undergraduate Student, BME
Dominic Locurto
Alumni Masters Student, MIE
Picture of Johnny Czernik
Johnathan Czernik
Alumni Undergraduate Student, MIE
man with headphones around neck
Tanner Oliveira
Alumni Masters Student, MIE
Kadri Williams
Alumni Undergraduate Student, MIE
man in a tie
Arthur Wang
Alumni Undergraduate Student, MIE

Relevant Publications