While inside our respective quarantine hovels, we were desperate to understand the system that we were creating. Through model, we sought to propel our project from a series of zoom sessions brainstorms into something potentially viable. For this to be achievable, we had to compartmentalize our project into various subsections. From this compartmentalization, we were able to identify areas that were better suited for human practices verification and where modelling may serve as our looking glass. This led us to four main modelling paths that influenced our design and how we built Oviita. The paths can be seen below. For more in-depth information on the models, and the impact they had on our project, please click on the icons.

Through the subprojects above, we were able to breathe life into Oviita without the physical use of a lab. From our protein engineering models, for example, we built confidence in our system’s field efficacy. These models were then able to directly influence the design and sequencing of our parts. When we encountered issues surrounding cultivation of Y. lipolytica , and whether or not it could handle certain growth conditions, we addressed our concerns through metabolic flux models. These models also greatly influenced the design and implementation strategies of our bioreactor.

When our HP work brought to light the difficulties in detecting vitamin A deficiency, we developed another subproject where we designed a detection system to quantify vitamin A levels in the blood. To ensure the viability of this detection system, known as the Randle Cell Testing Device, we performed extensive modelling.

Ultimately, modelling was the gateway through which Oviita was built to be physically sustainable. Combined with the efforts of our human practices work and preliminary lab findings, we have built confidence in Oviita’s potential to go from ideation to sustainable implementation.