Cell di-electrorotation: Studying of rotation to characterize biological cells and the connections in engineering to the next generation standards

Shawn H. Maison, Adam J.P. Bauer, Steven Shapardanis, Thomas Stuart White, Ze Zhang, Bingbing Li, Qin Hu, Tolga Kaya

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Biological engineering is a field that most secondary educator will never gain research experience in. With new engineering standards playing a predominant role in the new "Next Generation Science Standards" teachers and students will be struggling for meaningful lesson plans that teach engineering standards. Students will need leaders (teachers) that have an engineering knowledge base to properly learn true engineering practice. Teachers will need real engineering experiences to be proficient enough to help students learn true engineering concepts and standards. That is what the RET (Research Experiences for Teachers) has provided. By creating a di-electrophoresis chamber, cell frequency can be observed. This would allow the identification of healthy cells from diseased cells. Theoretically, one method of identifying cells is by the frequency of their rotation within a di-electrical field. By layering one electric field on top of another in a sealed chamber cells can be trapped within a di-electric field in solution. The RET (NSF project) has given each teacher the tools needed to aide students in the new engineering standards. The Di-electrophoresis project required collaboration between three departments on campus. The biology, chemistry, and engineering departments all collaborated on the di-electrophoresis project. Each department played a critical role in combining resources to fabricate a device that could potential trap cells in an electrical chip. This collaboration is what allowed the engineering and technology end to create the di-electrophoresis device. The parameters were set by the cell size. The cells were removed from sub-culture using biochemistry laboratories and staff. Resources in the engineering and technology department were used to fabricate the device. The correct electrical field was designed by an electrical engineer. The resources and collaboration between disciplines is the core of what engineering is. In this experience teachers learned to use their strengths, but also know when to rely on others with more experience in different disciplines. As a result of this project we have gained an understanding that failure is a teaching point and that each prototype created is a success no matter what the outcome is. Showing students that engineering is fluid and always changing, improving, and evolving. Redesigning current labs to have outcomes that can vary from student to student is one way we have already been able to adjust current curriculum to meet the new standards in engineering. Many sciences have designated designed outcomes in their labs, and expected results in their directed lessons or projects. Allowing students to design their own labs instead of us giving rigid outlines in experiments or projects is becoming a paradigm shift already in how our labs are being taught at both the secondary and collegiate settings. Our students are more engaged in collaborating and group work as a result of this RET project. We will provide detailed project description and resulting classroom activities that were developed as a result of the RET project.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201326 Jun 2013


Conference120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA


Dive into the research topics of 'Cell di-electrorotation: Studying of rotation to characterize biological cells and the connections in engineering to the next generation standards'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this