Team:MIT mammalian Circuit


Revision as of 05:30, 26 October 2010 by Ldeming (Talk | contribs)

The Cellular Touchpad
Our project began with idea of a biological touchscreen. We envisioned a cellular 'iPad', a plate of cells that could sense applied pressure and differentiate in response. There are a ton of applications for this technology; at the most basic level, one could imagine drawing a pattern onto a cellular monolayer and watch bone form around the outline. The system could also be used to study morphogenesis, to explore the role of chemical and mechanical signaling in differentiation by trying to build analogous synthetic counterparts. We've developed a basic standard for linking mechanical sensing to cellular differentiation, a standard we hope to see it developed to support even more intricate systems.

Our specific system involves cells that can sense mechanical stimulation and differentiate into bone in response. We broke our project up into three 'modules' to proceed in parallel. The first was a search for mechanosensitive promoters. The second focused on getting stem cells to differentiate into osteoblasts (bone-producing cells). The last module centered around creating a 'switch' in the mammalian cells that would allow us to convert a transient pressure pulse into long term expression of a differentiation program. Click on the panels below to go to the experimental pages

  Mechanical Signaling                     Circuit Design                      Bone Differentiation