Student Work

Applying Microfluidics to Study Cell Growth in the moss Physcomitrium patens


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Plants are an essential resource to life on Earth by providing oxygen to breathe and food production. Hence, understanding plant cell growth is important for developing a sustainable future. The moss Physcomitrium patens is a useful model organism to study plant growth due to its ability to grow and regenerate quickly and be manipulated genetically in the laboratory. However, only recently has this plant been grown within microfluidic devices. Microfluidic devices, typically comprised of PDMS, are useful due to their ability to exchange media quickly on a small scale. The goal of our project was to grow P. patens inside of microfluidic devices and to evaluate if the flow rate of media had an effect in the cells growth rate. To address this, a procedure was developed to construct microfluidic devices and test varying flow rates by analyzing time-lapse videos of cell growth. The results indicate that P. patens can grow in microfluidic devices, however, through statistical analysis it was determined that flow does not have a statistically significant difference impact on cell growth.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
  • E-project-042822-161727
  • 65871
  • 2022
Date created
  • 2022-04-28
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