Corin Nishimoto was born and raised on the island of Maui. He graduated from Seabury Hall in 2015, and is currently studying Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In the future, he hopes to work R&D at a medical device company. Through undergrad research, he has tested several methods to resuscitate and enumerate Viable But Non Culturable bacteria. He has also developed protocols and tests for his lab’s automated enumeration and immunoanalyzer machines. In his free time, he enjoys performing on the Cal Poly Lion Dance team.

Home Island: Maui

Institution when accepted: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Akamai Project: Design & Prototyping of a Sanitizing & Cell-Seeding Device

Project Site: HNu-Photonics – Scorpio V Division

Mentors: Devin Ridgley, Sylvia Loh, Brittany Willbrand

Project Abstract:

The BioChip SpaceLab (BCSL) is an automated cell culturing platform designed to perform microgravity biology interrogations onboard the International Space Station (ISS). BCSL consists of up to 12 BioChips for a given microgravity experiment on-orbit. Due to the unique nature of experimentation on ISS it is important to design equipment that is safe, time efficient and easy to use for the crew. While BCSL is an autonomous platform during experimentation, the experiment preparation procedures require significant crew operations. In an effort to streamline the experiment preparation process for the crew on-orbit, the BioChip Seeding Assembly (BSA) was designed and prototyped at the SCROPIO-V labs for validation tests. Sanitizing and seeding the BioChip can be a tedious process of washing the channels through a series of inlets and outlets making experiment preparation a time-consuming task. The verified sanitization protocol includes the following treatments before each BioChip use: 2x 70% ethanol, 2x sterilized water, 2x PBS, and 1x media. The full process takes approximately 1-2 hours per BioChip and has a high incidence of contamination. In this study, the BioChip Seeding Assembly was created to accelerate this process, minimize contamination, and accurately seed cells. BSA is a human operated piece of lab equipment that is comprised of a series of syringes and check valves that draws a fluid through an inlet and redirects it through the BioChip. The device uses identical syringes to equally distribute fluid to all wells while removing existing fluids. The device designs were developed in SolidWorks and prototypes were 3D printed. CAD specifications were used in manufacturing, and a polycarbonate model was produced for further use and testing. After seeding several BioChips with the BSA prototype, it was confirmed that the device was biocompatible, minimized contamination, reduced operation duration and successfully seeded cells. The SCORPIO-V team will use the BSA for future BCSL crew operations to significantly decrease the complexity and duration of BCSL pre-experiment operations in the microgravity environment of ISS.