The Role of Mechanical Stimuli on Bacteria Growth

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Ashesi University
Synthetic biology is the engineering of biology; it is the evaluation and design of biological systems in a rational and systematic manner. It blurs the lines between various science and engineering disciplines due its numerous applications, with one of the most significant being the use of biosensors in environmental remediation. Biosensors substitute engineered micro-organisms as traditional sensors and transducers. In recent years, the use of E. coli as the primary micro-organism in biosensors has gained popularity simply because of the ease of use, stability, etc. However, the effect of the environment on the biosensor has largely been ignored, especially the effect of mechanical stimuli, such as viscosity of the fluid medium, direction and speed of motion, etc. The main output of this project was an incubator containing a robotic platform that varied the direction of motion. The temperature in the incubator is controlled by proportional controller using the measured temperature as feedback to tune the system’s response.A simple mathematical model (based on the traditional logistic curve) was formulated with an added term that incorporated the effect of the movement of the robotic platform in the form of shear stress. The model proved that mechanical stimuli can affect generation time of E. coliby varying one of the model’s parameters. The next step therefore is to fit data to the model to determine the value of the parameter varied.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, April 2019
biosensors, E. coli, Synthetic biology, mechanical stimuli