Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Biomedical Engineering
Carolina A. Colon - Valencia College
Co-Author(s): Shuai Li (Georgia Tech) Xuzhou Jiang (Georgia Tech) Kan Wang (Georgia Tech) Chuck Zhang (Georgia Tech) Ben Wang (Georgia Tech)
Cell therapy is a robust innovating field capable of treating countless patients as it takes genetically engineered T-cells and re-introduces them into the patient?s body to target severe illnesses and conditions such as cancer and tissue regrowth. However, current production of cell therapies is not easily accessible for the amount of demand it has, as the cost for these therapies are significantly higher than other not as effective medical treatments. A reason for the high gauge in price for these innovating technologies is due to the fact that scale up manufacturing of these cell therapies is not as smooth of a process due to the lack of manageable in-line cell culture monitoring tools and equipment. For that reason, in an effort to expedite the scale-up production of cell manufacturing therapies as a whole, a cost-effective solution for flexible, robust, biocompatible, wireless, and distributed sensor networks for acquiring information inside large bioreactors is of pressing need for cell growth process monitoring and control. Aerosol jet printing will be used to print the biosensor networks on different substrates. Different inks, such as silver and gold, can be used to print conductive electrodes, with silver being the main focus due to its conductivity. Thus, the adhesive properties between the printing inks and substrates can be a vital factor of the printing success. For instance, the printing inks cannot deposit well on the hydrophobic surface. In this project, we will investigate different methods to improve the printing quality on a hydrophobic surface. Clamp design and surface modification via plasma treatment were studied and compared. Plasma treatment made the surface more hydrophilic allowing the adhesion of the sensor on the bag, which was determined by calculating the contact angle of the deposited ink on the substrate, however, further research needs to be conducted to determine optimal parameters to achieve the highest level of adhesion of the sensor. Future work will involve further testing of different surface modification parameters and developing the clamp sensor design. The characteristics of these two methods will then be compared and analyzed with more research to determine the best course for improving sensor adhesion. Finally, we will optimize the parameters in the printing process to reach the most ideal printing quality.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT).
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kan Wang, email@example.com
Role: For this project, I was tasked with not only cultivating and taking care of a large sample of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) for experimentation but also to find ways to attach the printed sensors to the cell culture bags securely. I came up with three different unique solutions in a very short amount of time like the clamp mechanism, surface modification, and bag replacement along with a detailed plan of how to implement each of them. My idea won the first place for industry choice award during the research retreat in Wisconsin-Madison University. Additionally, I also assisted with printing and testing different inks for the sensors using the Aerosol Jet Printer. Furthermore, I helped gather and analyze data utilizing both a wired and wireless capacitance sensor.