Motivation, Brainstorming, Research

The month of May allowed the team to meet each other, get aquainted with the space, as well as further investigating the problem we are aiming to solve.

Week 1: May 23-2022

  • Team conducted safety lab training
  • Team met for the first time
  • Toured our lab space
  • Began preliminary research
  • Simple design/technology demonstrations
  • Familiarization with all the facets of iGEM
  • Week 2: May 30-2022

  • Continued research
  • Began brainstorming system and its properties
    • 4 Main Aspects:
      • Liquid Environment
      • Sampling Methods
      • Incubation
      • Sensing
  • Very basic functionality and prototyping:
    • Pressure/Syringe Pumps
    • Sampling System Tubing
    • Simple Filtration System


    Prototyping, Testing, Demonstration

    The majority of June was still part of the creative process, however the team was able to further specify some of our initial designs by including attributes such as materials and dimensions.

    Week 3: June 6-2022

  • Designed initial aquatic environment with prototype of filtering system
  • Designed second iteration of the sampling system
    • Began to incorporate automation via Fluigent pressure pump libraries
  • Investigated different heating elements and regulatory components for initial incubator prototype
  • Finalized the use of microcontrollers and raspberry pis
    • Decided what aspects of the system will be automiated via the pi
  • Began to reach out and touch base with other Boston based iGEM teams
  • Week 4: June 13-2022

  • Idea to improve modularity of the system with more user-design
  • Further improved sampling system to reduce the footprint
    • Decreased the number of syringe pumps
    • Investigated creating a purely pressure based system
  • Proposed two different iterations of the incubator setups
  • First of 2 collaborations with the MIT iGEM team
    • Visited their lab space and discussed our project ideas for the competition as well as other ideas for all the deliverables
    • Read more on our Collaboration page

    Week 5: June 20-2022

  • Finished the 3D modeling for the proposed aquatic environment
  • Compared logistics of the new and old pressure pump system
    • Decided on purely pressure based system
  • Designed first microfluidic device for droplet generation
  • Finalized the heating element for the incubator
    • Decided on using a cooling chip in reverse
  • Completed training for microfludiic fabrication
  • Week 6: June 27-2022

  • First of several updates with the PI Dr. Densmore
    • Communicated updates and projected goals for the rest of the summer
  • Further refined presentation skills for events upcoming in July
  • PI's Synthetic Biology Course
    • Read about our contributions to this course on the Education page


    Education, Connection, Outreach

    July was a major opportunity for outreach, allowing us to spread the word of Synthetic Biology to a variety of different communities and audiences.

    Week 7: July 4-2022

  • Final filtration prototype developed
  • Continued to implement modularity into the system
    • Decided to include peristaltic pumps for environment simulation
  • Pressure system automation began via Arduino microcontrollers
  • Incubation trials concluded, proceeding to final prototype
  • SSH into raspberry pi for complete system automaion
  • Began promotional video preparations
  • Week 8: July 11-2022

  • Decided on a logo design
  • Began to layout system for final housing production
  • Second round of fabrication demonstrations
  • Prepared for following education outreach events
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    Week 9: July 18-2022

  • Held two different education outreach sessions
    • Discussed Synthetic Biology basics as well as Bioethics
    • Read about each of them in the Education section
  • Began producing the final housing
  • Incubator completed
  • Automation begins to be tested via the raspberry pi
  • Week 10: July 25-2022

  • Housing was finalized
    • Finalized materials for frame, flooring, housing
  • Storyboard for promotional video compelted
  • Fabricated the first microfluidic device
  • August

    Building, Testing, Refining

    As the end of the summer approached, it was time to kick things into high gear. A majority of final building took place as well as major progress on the rest of the deliverables.

    Week 11: August 1-2022

  • Housing construction continued
  • Began design of the web applictaion for automation
    • Easy, user-friendly interface to controls the parameters of simulation
    • Web app to be deployed on a touchscreen for ease of use
  • Began updating graphical abstracts
  • Held an educational outreact program at BioBuilder
  • Hosted MIT for the second half of our collaboration
  • Week 12: August 11-2022

  • Met with Processing Engineer at Deer Island Waterwater Treatment Facility
    • Led to modifications in housing via a new multifluid input system
    • Read more about it in our Human Practices page
  • Continued working with touchscreen and web app compatibility
  • Week 13: August 16-2022

  • Met with Biosensor Collaborators
  • Remote team began working on our wiki
    • Distributed and assigned pages to team members
    • Made minimal aesthetic decisions
    • Compiled all work to a single location
  • On site team worked on the final stages of housing and automation
    • Decided how to house and connect final electronic components
  • Planned commercial content
  • Week 14: August 22-2022

  • Added minor adjustments to housing
  • Remote team continued working on our wiki
    • Wrote content for pages
    • Began researching and making stylistic choices
  • Filmed commercial content
  • Week 15: August 29-2022

  • Remote team continued working on our wiki
  • Submitted commercial video
  • Finished final housing
    • Added and connected final tubing and wiring
  • Fabricated microfluidic chips
  • September

    Enhancing, Collecting, Finalizing

    With the start of the fall season, our team began finalizing our system and its delivarables, including working on our wiki, final presentation, and documenting content.

    Week 16: September 5-2022

  • Team met in person again!!
  • Fabricated final microfluidic chips
  • Began running demos in housing setup
    • Generated droplets using our sampling system
  • Continued wiki development
  • Week 17: September 12-2022

  • Began working on final presentation
  • Continued running demos and collecting data
    • Ran colored droplet demo
  • Continued wiki work
  • Week 18: September 19-2022

  • Continued final presentation edits
  • Continued wiki work
  • Continued running demos and collecting data
    • Ran fluorescence demo

    Week 19: September 26-2022

  • Began rehearsing final presentation
  • Added final plots and images to wiki
  • October

    Rehearsing, Presenting, Perfecting

    By October all the team had left was final tweaks to the wiki, finishing our presentation and rehearsing for the Grand Jamboree.

    Week 20: October 3-2022

  • Final wiki tweaks ahead of freeze
  • Practice presentation with live audience
  • Week 22: October 10-2022

  • All done with wiki!!
  • Final presentation practice and rehearsals with live audiences