20.051: 12-Unit LM Class for Sophomores
Scholars work in small, highly interdisciplinary teams organized analogously to biotech startups. The 'companies' operate in a very similar manner to a real-world company. They have to pitch their project at the beginning of the semester to get funding. We use our currency, which is known as the Living Machines Currency (LMC), for all transactions. Companies have their own name, governance style, and even get to file internal patents to protect their idea from other companies. The goal of the 20.051 is for each company to build a fully functional gut-on-chip that has a novel component not previously reported in the literature. Current implementations include lymphatic integration, immune cell integration, novel materials (other than PDMS) and vertical membranes to facilitate high-resolution imaging. The emphasis of 20.051 is to learn a variety of hands-on technical skills, team-work, organizational behavior, resource and project management, intellectual property, and communication skills. The class culminates with the companies showcasing their achievements at the annual NEET Research Symposium organized by Living Machines.