ERIC Number: EJ1087766
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Three-Dimensional Printing of Human Skeletal Muscle Cells: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Studying Biological Systems
Bagley, James R.; Galpin, Andrew J.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v43 n6 p403-407 Nov-Dec 2015
Interdisciplinary exploration is vital to education in the 21st century. This manuscript outlines an innovative laboratory-based teaching method that combines elements of biochemistry/molecular biology, kinesiology/health science, computer science, and manufacturing engineering to give students the ability to better conceptualize complex biological systems. Here, we utilize technology available at most universities to print three-dimensional (3D) scale models of actual human muscle cells (myofibers) out of bioplastic materials. The same methodological approach could be applied to nearly any cell type or molecular structure. This advancement is significant because historically, two-dimensional (2D) myocellular images have proven insufficient for detailed analysis of organelle organization and morphology. 3D imaging fills this void by providing accurate and quantifiable myofiber structural data. Manipulating tangible 3D models combats 2D limitation and gives students new perspectives and alternative learning experiences that may assist their understanding. This approach also exposes learners to 1) human muscle cell extraction and isolation, 2) targeted fluorescence labeling, 3) confocal microscopy, 4) image processing (via open-source software), and 5) 3D printing bioplastic scale-models (×500 larger than the actual cells). Creating these physical models may further student's interest in the invisible world of molecular and cellular biology. Furthermore, this interdisciplinary laboratory project gives instructors of all biological disciplines a new teaching tool to foster integrative thinking.
Descriptors: Human Body, Cytology, Interdisciplinary Approach, Visual Aids, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Health Sciences, Computer Science, Engineering, Models, College Science, College Students, Science Instruction, Laboratory Equipment, Computer Software, Open Source Technology, Printing, Science Laboratories, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A