Design of a Fiber Optic Sensor Array for in Vitro Monitoring of Cellular Processes
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DESIGN OF A FIBER OPTIC SENSOR ARRAY FOR IN VITRO MONITORING OF CELLULAR PROCESSES. Douglas Page West, Dr. Richard O. Claus, Chairman Bradley Department of Electrical Engineering Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Current analysis of the life and death cycles of in vitro cellular systems is based on visual observation methods relying upon morphological changes monitored using a microscope. Data collected from these techniques are not as precise as scientists desire them to be. The methods are discontinuous, indirect, costly, and time and labor intensive. The human element plays a significant part in error propagation as individual style of the researcher lends to skewing the data. Experimental results will differ greatly from laboratory to laboratory just because the methods of monitoring cellular activity are not standardized. The researcher uses experience to determine the best way to collect data quickly and "accurately" according to his or her definition. There is a great need not only to standardize data collection processes, but also to eliminate human error induced by lack of experience or fatigue. This research proposes a fiber optic based monitoring system as a possible solution to eliminate a number of problems with current cellular data collection methods and to increase the data collection rate tremendously since the process could be automated.
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