Protein Titration Control And Monitoring System: A Collaborative, Real World Course Project
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Currently, The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine uses a manually-operated system for the pH titration of histidine penta-peptides, model compounds and proteins. The data collected from this system will be used to determine the pKa of the histidine side-chain in these different compounds. This information will be added to the world-wide data base of pKa's collected and will contribute to our understanding of how pKa's are affected by their local environment and will contribute to the development of new drugs and/or drug delivery systems. To increase data collection efficiency, the Health Science Center approached the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technology Programs about automating the titration system. The Protein Titration Control and Monitoring system was assigned as the course project in an undergraduate data acquisition and process control class that is taught at the junior-level. The students were required to work in four to five-person teams to develop a complete system-level design, implement the design in hardware and software, and test and deliver an operational system to the sponsor. The software was designed and implemented using National Instruments LabVIEW graphical development environment and a standard data acquisition card installed in a desktop computer. The system accepts inputs from the researcher, automates the entire titration and data collection process, databases the pertinent information, and correctly terminates the experiment. The system can be operated in a local mode or the experimenter can initiate a data collection session, monitor the progress of the experiment in real time, and access the recorded results via the Internet using LabView Data Socket technology.