In Summer 2017, I worked in the Niklason Lab with Alex Engler and Lexi Suberi to implement a device to automatically decellularize rat lungs.
The hardware, built by Alex, mainly comprises of jars for various chemicals to be gravity fed into a rat’s lung to decell it. Each connection has a servo that clamps on the connection to allow or block the flow. Motors are used to pipe liquid into a measuring cylinder which also has an electronic tape sensor to measure volume of liquid. The servos and sensors are connected to an Arduino Due which Lexi and I programmed to implement the state machine of the decellularization process.
A particularly challenging part was implementing the “Debug Mode” that essentially allows the user to interact with the machine through serial monitor. This is useful for changing states in the state machine, toggling the servos and motors, and reading sensor data. It was implemented as an auxiliary state in the state machine that is called via an interrupt on a hardware interface.