Denise Medina

MIT Department: Biological Engineering

Undergraduate Institution: Florida International University

Faculty Mentor: Roger Kamm

Research Supervisor: Tatsuya Osaki

Website: LinkedIn, Personal site



I was born and raised in Cuba until the age of 20, when I moved to Miami. Now, I am an upcoming senior at FIU. My major is Biomedical Engineering. I study heart valves tissue engineering at my home university. My goal is to continue doing research and complete a PhD in the field, studying the bio-mechanics of hard and soft tissues. In my free time I try to do yoga, watch independent movies and go to the beach.

2017 Poster Presentation

2017 Research Abstract

Regeneration model of 2D and 3D skeletal muscle tissue by treatment with CoQ10

Denise M. Almora, Department of Biomedical Engineering. Florida International University,

Tatsuya Osaki, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Roger D. Kamm, Departments of Biological and Mechanical Engineering. Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Sarcopenia and Myopenia are muscular diseases associated with the aging process, along with the loss of muscle mass and strength, which affects balance and the ability to perform tasks of daily living. Microfluidics holds great promise to study these diseases and the drugs candidates for their treatment. The advantages of using 3D microfluidic over 2D simple culture is that this mimics the behavior of the cells, tissues and organs in vivo. Many studies indicate that drugs such as simvastatin affect the ability of the skeletal muscles to repair and regenerate themselves. Nevertheless, the CoQ10 supplement can help to reverse the effect of statins, aiding the muscle regeneration. The purpose of this study was to create a model of injured skeletal muscle with the application of 5μM (the regular dose of a patient that is under simvastatin treatment) or 10 μM of simvastatin for 48 hours, and study how the muscle regeneration occurs if the cells are supplied with enough CoQ10 directly and through the vasculature. The analysis of CoQ10 effects was conducted using confocal imaging and the analysis of gene expression with genes such as MHC, MYL-1 and MYL-3, which regulate muscle building.