Bioprocess and Biomaterial Applications in Retinal Regeneration

Nadine Truter, Corbin Nold, Alix Savard, Nathan Howerton, Rosalyn Carr

  • Community Partner: Maxwell Therapeutics Inc.
  • Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Program: Biomedical Engineering
  • Campus: Vancouver

Our project 

Maxwell Therapeutics Inc. is a UBC-incubated startup that is developing biotechnology to regenerate multiple co-dependent retinal layers for the treatment of retinal degeneration or trauma. Our project focused on developing a high-throughput device to accelerate the research and development timeline associated with the treatment. This was accomplished through the design and implementation of specialized subsystems, including bioprocess and biomaterials engineering. 

Our inspiration 

The project was very multifaceted with mechanical, cellular, and other components. As well, the technology seemed very applicable, and it was easy to see the value in the treatment Maxwell Therapeutics aims to provide. Overall, it is a meaningful project that we were happy to be a small part of. 

Our biggest challenge 

COVID-19 made ordering difficult. It was also challenging trying to coordinate multiple areas of the project and trying to have timelines merge effectively. It was important for us to resist 'design creep' and remain focused on the core goal. 

What excited us most 

Those moments of success when things came together! The opportunity to work with a passionate stakeholder/supervisor on a mission, learn new things, get hands-on with the design work, and take an idea from research to concept to prototype to a realized product. 

The most interesting/surprising thing we learned 

We reaffirmed the idea that solid teamwork and communication really does improve outcomes. Coordinating tasks is critical, especially when those tasks are spread across multiple disciplines and topics! 

Our project's future 

The device will help accelerate research and development times while decreasing costs, which could impact consumer costs later down the line. Although our product is very specific to the lab, we hope we made a difference on a broad scale. 

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