As part of my undergraduate research, I have been working in the Cardiac Cell Engineering Lab at Stony Brook U. under Dr. Emilia Entcheva since May 2008 and have had the opportunity to work with cardiac cells. I have been working to find memory effect in the conduction velocity in cardiac tissue which may be involved in arrhythmia/fibrillation development esp. in cases of myocardial ischemic injury (unlike short-term memory which involves APD). If proven to exist, the results of this research may be applicable in explaining post-tachycardia abnormalities such as post-tachycardia T-wave syndrome and QT prolongation. In such cases, persistent tachycardia effectively acts as sustained high-frequency pacing which may lead to nonstandard conduction velocities following restoration of sinus rhythm. To that end, I am involved in all aspects of the project including cell culture, customized software programming, data collection and analysis. The research is, as yet, ongoing.
A picture of the die I designed and got machined for cell scaffolds
Additionally, as part of my undergraduate senior design project, I am working on developing software that can create any micropattern on a dry-film photoresist slide using any standard epi-luminescence microscope with a motorized movable stage. This software could be used for in-house creation of patterned scaffolds for cell cultures or micro-fluidic devices. This project is specifically aimed to facilitate cell culture research projects.