Saturday, August 17, 2013

Short Pause for the Short Course

So experimentation and overall work has been on hold since the last post (though I was able to cure some hydrogel! Pics at the end). In addition to having lab access and crazy tools, the fellows of AMRI also get the opportunity to participate in a short course on the Advances of Tissue Engineering. This is a chance to see all the cutting edge research and development going on in the ever changing field of tissue engineering/regenerative medicine in the bioengineering field. It's really something to see the many names you see listed on the papers you have read in person. 

For me this has been a great opportunity to immerse myself in all things related to tissue engineering/regenerative medicine. It's been about 7 years since I last took a biology class or a chemistry class. All I can say is thank god for wikipedia, I'd be absolutely lost without doing a bazillion searches through all the presentations. While most topics were over my head, getting an in depth overview helps to really contextualize things. 

Polymerizing hydrogels is not a new concept at all, it's been done by many researchers. What I think Open3DLP can offer is a much more affordable/adaptable platform for more research to happen. Looking over the basic schematics on different labs setup is really an eye opener. The costs of some of the setups are outrageous, makes me realize why its so inaccessible for most people. 

It cured! Cross-linking success!
Ultimately, how I'm bridging the vast abyss of my knowledge of polymerizing plastic to polymerizing hydrogels is to frame it as just another kind of resin. It is just that, hydrogel is just another kind of resin that can be applied to a DLP 3D printer. Just a different end product reacting with another kind of photo photoinitiator. Simple!

Having a little fun with the new label maker.

Short course ends today and I should get back to the usual grind.

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