Tufts University | School of Engineering | School of Arts and Sciences | Department of Biology | Find People |


Contact Info:
Biomedical Engineering
Tufts University
200 Boston Ave.
Suite 2600
Medford, MA 02155


Amanda Baryshyan
Former Lab Member

Current Research:
In vitro
culture of insect muscle from embryonic tissues, with applications in robotic bioactuation.

Academic Background
Tufts University, B.S. in Chemical Engineering

Research Interests:
Development of functional, biodegradable muscle actuators for applications in soft robotics and biomimetic locomotion. Insect cells are used to generate these muscle constructs as they may be cultured under ambient conditions, and have the ability to survive without medium replenishment for periods of over two months. Our approach has been to isolate insect stem cells from developing embryos and induce their differentiation into skeletal muscle tissue using developmental hormones. We are currently investigating metabolic mechanisms of survival and the potential interplay between fat and muscle cells in our system. Other areas of focus include the design and implementation of novel biomaterials for achieving cell alignment, formation of 3-dimensional functional muscle constructs, and investigation of the impacts of mechanical and electrical signaling on tissue construct development and function.

Figure 1. Insect muscle survives without medium changes > 2 months. LIVE/DEAD stain ing (right panels) demonstrates that muscle cells are viable (green), and few cells have died by day 75 (red). Figure 2. 3D Insect muscle constructs. Constructs are formed in a PDMS mold. Within 3d, cells condense and take the shape of the mold, and integrate with end-point attachments (B). By day 7, spontaneous contractions are observed.

< return to Personnel page