Date of Award:

2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Computer Science

Advisor/Chair:

Nicholas Flann

Abstract

The productivity of bioengineered cell factories is limited by inefficiencies in nutrient delivery and waste and product removal. Current solution approaches explore changes in the physical configurations of the bioreactors. This work studies the possibilities of exploiting self-organizing vascular networks to support producer cells within the factory. A computational model simulates de novo vascular development of endothelial-like cells and the resultant network functioning to deliver nutrients and extract product from the cell culture. Microbial factories with vascular networks are evaluated for their scalability, robustness, and productivity compared to the cell factories without a vascular network. Initial studies demonstrate at least an order of magnitude increase in production is possible; the system can be scaled up, and that the self-organization of the efficient vascular network is robust. The work suggests that bioengineered multicellularity may offer efficiency improvements difficult to achieve with physical engineering approaches.

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Available for download on Thursday, July 01, 2021

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