20.051: 12-Unit LM Class for Sophomores
Scholars work in small highly interdisciplinary teams organized analogous 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 own currency known as the Living Machines Currency (LMC) that the companies have to use to purchase materials and supplies, consulting time and various services related to their project. 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 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, organization 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 the Living Machines Academic Liaison Officer.