BME100 f2014:Group7 L1

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Independent and Dependent Variables

Independent Variable

The independent variable is the dosage of the inflammatory inducing agent, lipopolysaccharide. This is because manipulating the amount of lipopolysaccharide affects the amount of the inflammatory protein that would be produced.

Dependent Variable

The dependent variable in this experiment was the inflammatory protein, inflammotin, because this variable is a response to the manipulation of the amount of lipopolysaccharide. The amount of inflammotin produced is dependent on the amount of the inflammatory inducing agent present.

Experimental Design


There will be six groups based on the dosage of lipopolysaccharide given to the patient groups i.e. the groups will comprise dosages of 0,2,4,6,8 and 10 mg of the lipopolysaccharide. The 10 mg group will serve as the control group with the sole purpose to act as a platform for comparison of the protein produced. There will also be three age groups based on age. Additionally, the group which will be receiving the 0 mg dosage will serve as a control group for baseline inflammotin levels naturally produced in the body. We are trying to determine the cheapest and lowest effective dosage, and since we know that 10 mg is already effective there is no need for us to test higher dosages.


We will focus on three age groups: 60-69 , 70-79 and 80-89. This will enable us to see the effect of the drug on a broader age spectrum as age does affect the physiological status of the patient. We are excluding subjects younger than 60 because the data provided states that inflammotin is increased by LPS in the elderly.

Number of subjects per group

Each group will have eight subjects. Multiple subjects will confer a higher level of significance and confidence in the results. It also reduces variability in the experimental results. The groups will be divided by age and then by dosage level, for a total of 18 groups. There will be a grand total of 144 individuals participating in the experiment.


The experiment should be conducted three times, once a week. This will allow us to control error due to natural fluctuations in inflammotin. The test will be conducted as follows: Test subjects will be administered a blood test before the drug is administered to determine base levels of inflammotin. Then the subject will be given their dosage depending on their group. After allowing approximately 30 minutes for the drug to take effect, another blood test will be conducted and the difference in inflammotin will be determined using ELISA.

Subject Selection

Selecting subjects for participation

Subject selection is strictly randomized. We will select our subjects based on age first. Our next requirement will be that the subjects are not currently taking any anti-inflammatory drugs, or anything else that might interfere with the effects of lipopolysaccharide. We will acquire a random representative sample for all dosage levels, including an equal balance of male and female test subjects of various ethnic backgrounds. As stated above, we want to exclude younger patients because we are primarily concerned with the elderly. Having younger subjects may negatively effect our data, as younger subjects will reflect healthier and more natural levels of inflammotin.

Sources of Error and Bias

A possible error in this lab is the patients in the clinical trials may be taking medications that have an effect on their inflammatory protein levels or may be allergic to similar medications. A way to control this issue is to select patients that do not have any allergies to the pill and do not take any medications that affect inflammatory protein levels. Another possible error is the patients take the medications inconsistently/not at same time every week. To control this, we will administer the medications to the patients at the same time before each test and properly document the experiment. A possible bias in this lab is improper dosages from the administrators or patients. As a solution, we will have a double blind study for the trials, so neither the administrators nor the test subjects will know the dosage they are receiving. Another possible bias is having patients younger than 60 participate in the groups because they have healthy levels of inflamotin. As a solution, we will not include individuals younger than 60 as this factor alone may skew the data. Another potential source of error can be gender. Though subjects were randomly selected for the study, males and females will probably respond differently to the drug. This may be controlled by having an even proportion of males and females in each sample group though they will still be randomly selected.