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Medical Engineering, Third Year Research Project: Aims and Objectives, Queen Mary, University of London

  1. Read the task in Box 1.
  2. Download each of the pdfs and read them. Keep these open so you can refer to them as you watch the video.
  3. Watch the video.

Step 1

The Task

Medical Engineering, Third Year Research Project: Aims and Objectives, Queen Mary, University of London

In year 3, medical engineering students conduct an individual research project and write up the work in the form of a dissertation. This document is designed to demonstrate the students’ ability to analyse and present the findings of an investigation. The report must be written in a coherent and logical manner with arguments justified by the findings from the students own work or by reference to publications.  In general, the report structure consists of a literature review, aims and objectives, methodology, results and discussion.

The aims and objectives is an important section of the project dissertation and often the first section tutors turn to. It consists of a statement which summarises the project’s context and what research will be undertaken. The aim is a broad, single statement which explains what the work will do. The objectives could be a series of short, bullet pointed statements which explain how the studies will be conducted. This section should be accurate, concise and clear since it informs the audience of the research questions and the problems the work will be addressing.

Step 2

Texts

Text 1 - SUN2

Aim

To develop a reliable cell system where the expression of SUN2 can be modulated, providing cells ready for any following assays.

Objectives

MEFs were chosen to be reprogrammed as they are a well studied cell line, with documented success under a variety of different reprogramming techniques. doxycycline inducible lentiviral transduction was selected for reprogramming due to its advantage of selecting for reprogrammed cells by withdrawal of doxycycline.

Expression of SSEA-1 was chosen as the criteria to select for reprogrammed cells using FACS, due to its standing as the only indentified surface marker of pluripotency and the issues of using NANOG::GFP. Successive rounds of FACS were used to purify for a population of SSEA-1 positive cells that also match specified morphological characteristics. This line would then be frozen down for assays.

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Text 2 - stem cells cultured in different oxygen environments

Aims and Objectives

Elevated ROS levels are associated with increased oxidative stress eventually leading to premature senescence of the cells. High oxygen tension is associated with increased ROS generation which induces oxidative stress resulting in limited proliferative lifespan. The study of MSC behaviour expanded under different oxygen tensions in correlation with ROS generation is important in determining the suitable oxygen tension for long term expansion of the cells. Therefore, the aim of the dissertation is to examine the effects of oxygen tension on the production of cellular ROS in goat MSCs. The proposed hypotheses for this investigation are;

• Expansion of goat MSCs at 2% oxygen reduces ROS generation compared to expansion at 20% oxygen tensions

• Alteration of the oxygen conditions from the expansion oxygen levels rapidly alters ROS generation.

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Text 3 - THz – TDS detection of cartilage proteins

Aim and Objectives

The sample holders mentioned above, may be an improvement from using dehydrated samples or samples placed in PE bag, but the solutions have their own problems. The main concerns are that one sample can be quantified at a time, and most of the designs are manually moved. This may create a problem when the experiment is stopped and started again, which may create a different environment condition. So this may mean that each repetition is in a different condition. A long standing interest in the biological community is the need for automated, high through put diagnostics which can rapidly characterize protein dynamics in real time. For instance, a THz chip approach has been used for the detection of genetic sequences and conformational changes in DNA (Bolivar et al., 2004). Therefore the aim of this project is to improve the current THz – TDS system by developing a sample holder, which can quantify small volumes of protein with reproducible results and can rapidly characterise protein dynamics in real time. The objectives of study are to design and implement a sample holder system to be used by the THz – TDS system. Next objective is incorporation of electronic components to the design so the system becomes automated. Final objective is to quantify the absorption coefficients of cartilage proteins.

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Step 3

Step 4

Download the transcript for this video.

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