If you’ve ever worked in a lab, you would have likely experienced the detailed steps of running an experiment. And this is no coincidence; science is an intricate field that requires precision to accurately test a hypothesis. However, the tools necessary to run great experiments aren’t always accessible because of the costs. This is where A.M.E.N. steps in to help.
Makenna Taylor, Josh Bacos, Frankie Alcala, Kyler Diefenbaugh, Luke Gantar, and Zach Heath are all students from George Fox University studying in fields such as Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering. They all met through the Servant Engineering Program at George Fox, a program focused on bringing together students and professionals as a team to research, design, and deliver engineering solutions to address humanitarian needs.
Through this program, professors helped the students refine the idea of using an automated media exchange device to improve the efficiencies of replacing media in cell cultures. This ultimately led to the creation of A.M.E.N. (Automated Media Exchange Network).
Through their automated media exchange device, A.M.E.N. aims to reduce the obstacles and barriers to expensive technology for many scientists. “The special part about our project is that this is mainly to serve professors at our school,” said Alcala. In addition to the potential cost-saving opportunities for biologists, A.M.E.N. will provide peace of mind and efficiency during the crucial foundation of many research projects; cell culturing.
However, the journey for A.M.E.N. hasn’t been perfect. They have faced obstacles in their design that have led to broken hardware, but Gantar states the importance of using your network and their strengths to overcome these barriers. “I think that the most important thing for innovation is utilizing your friends and just asking them what they know because that has been very helpful.”
The team also pays homage to the Invent Oregon competition in allowing them to learn more about themselves as in
novators. “What I’ve learned about myself is that I enjoy seeing the big picture, and working backward from there,” says Alcala. “I think I’ve been able to step a bit more into both of those roles in the process of completing this project by looking at the big picture and working backward from there and seeing the elements we can work on now.”
Moving forward, we are excited to see where A.M.E.N. takes its prototype. There is plenty of potential to make a real impact within the realm of science and research as a whole.