Lab Focus: Mechanical Engineering
Project Name: Designing and Creating a Video Game for Interacting with Microscopic Biological Systems in Real-Time
Project Description: This project is an open-ended exploration into designing and creating a video game for interacting with microscopic biological systems in real-time. It consists of four main tasks. The first task involves culturing living cells in the lab, most likely a simple single-celled model organism such as E. coli. The second task is taking measurements from the biological system and transmitting them to a computer using a variety of microscopy and image processing techniques. The third task is using a video game engine (e.g. Unity) or modding an existing game (e.g. Minecraft), to create a virtual environment where the biological system can be visualized and interacted with by the user. The fourth and final task is taking that user input and affecting the physical biological system in some way, such as triggering motion, gene expression, cell death, etc; the specific details of the interaction would be open for discussion. Some experience in coding could be beneficial, but is not required.