• Stress in a Microgravity Bioreactor

      Lelkes, Peter I.; Har-el, Yah-el; Lelkes, Peter I.; Har-el, Yah-el; Wang, Karin (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)
      This project involves the design and development of a cell stretching bioreactor device that can work in conjunction with a Random Positioning Machine (RPM) apparatus. Microgravity environments, such as in space, have been shown to induce alterations in cellular development due to inadequate mechanical loading of biological tissue. Because of this, long-term spaceflight has led to many health concerns, including osteoporosis and muscle atrophy. Space travel is rare and costly, making this research difficult to conduct, however; techniques to simulate microgravity on Earth can be achieved by using a Random Positioning Machine. This device has been a beneficial tool used to study the effect gravity has on cellular growth, yet certain tissues in the body, such as bone and muscle, require mechanical stress, strain, and mechanical loading to develop properly. Because of this, a device that can induce strain on cells while subjected to microgravity conditions is needed to further improve cellular research for space exploration. The constructed bioreactor consists of 3D printed and custom-made components that can induce uniaxial cyclic strain on cells adhered to an elastic membrane. Validation and testing of the device have shown that this bioreactor is suitable for cellular experimentation to work in conjunction with an RPM to deliver a controlled amount of strain while under microgravity conditions.