20.109(S14): Cell engineering mini-report

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20.109(S14): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

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Home        Schedule Spring 2014        Assignments       
Module 1        Module 2        Module 3              


The culminating written assignment for Module 3 will be relatively informal. You should continue to strive for clear writing and thorough explanations, but you do not have to provide as much context as you did in previous reports. You can assume a reader highly familiar with your work, such as a graduate school advising committee to whom you are providing an update.

Collaboration and Integrity

For this assignment, you and your partner (or even your entire super-group, if applicable) may share figures, figure captions, and supporting text if you wish. If you prefer to write the report separately rather than together, please let us know in advance.


This assignment is due by 5 PM on your final wet lab day, May 8th or 9th depending on lab section. Your data summary should submitted on Stellar, according to the usual naming convention for team assignments (see M1 data summary), and you should also submit a hardcopy of the report text (double-sided, please!) before you leave.

Content Guidelines

You should introduce the experimental question you investigated – citing publications when appropriate; – in 1-2 paragraphs. You can assume familiarity with cartilage tissue engineering on the part of the reader, and thus "zoom in" on your question and culture conditions immediately.

Summarize your findings and briefly suggest future work in ~ 4 pages, give or take, not counting figures. What we usually call Results and Discussion should be combined.

Prepare figures depicting results from the following assays: viability (including statistics), qPCR, ELISA, and DMMB. The figure captions and/or results main text should include any methodological details unique to your experiment in case future students want to repeat or build off of your work (e.g., number of cells analyzed, quantity of RNA used in qPCR, et cetera).


Content Approximate Worth (%) Criteria
Background, Experimental Question, and Design 15
  • Is the idea interesting and relevant?
  • Is previous foundational research sufficiently explained?
  • Is the experimental design likely to address the question?
Results and Interpretation of Data 75
  • Is the description of results complete (including necessary methods details)?
  • Do the figures clearly convey the data?
  • Are interpretations of each piece of data reasonable?
Contextualizing Results and Suggestions for Future Work 10
  • Is the import of the present experiment neither over- nor under-stated?
  • Are minor suggestions for future experimental changes likely to address any problems encountered?
  • Are broader suggestions for future work interesting and relevant?