Mitochondrion

Design at the Intersection

of Biology and Digital

Fabrication

University of Manitoba

Fall, 2012

The Mitochondrion was a research-

based initiative that was inspired by the mitochondrion (plural mitochondria), a

cell organelle that is responsible for the production and storage of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) within the cell. The Mitochondrion adopts a fluid shape

that mimics that of the mitochondrion to function as both a shelf and a wall partition. It is partitioned into three modules, each of which is adaptable

and can be configured according to the needs of the user.

The main function of the mitochondria is

to store ATP, an organic chemical that provides energy to drive many processes in eukaryotic cells (e.g., muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, and chemical synthesis). However, this is not the only function carried out by the mitochondria.

A single mitochondrion is involved in a whole plethora of functions, which include the conversion of oxygen into energy in

a process known as oxidative phosphorylation. [1] It also regulates cell cycle, cell growth, and cell death. [2]

Mitochondria’s shape varies in response

to various cellular cues. Under respiratory conditions, they undergo frequent cycles of fusion and fission. [3] During apoptosis,

they undergo five different shapes: (1) normal; (2) normal-vesicular;(3) vesicular; (4) vesicular-swollen; and (5) swollen. [4]

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1-2. Yang, Jian. “A Stranger in Your Home.” Scientific Scribbles, The University of Melbourne (2017).

3. Baptista, Cátia M. “Mitochondrial genetic theraphy in Parkinson’s disease: Cloning mitochondrial gene ND1.” uBiblioforum, University of Beira Interior (2015).

4-5. Sun, Mei G. et al. “Correlated three-dimensional light and electron microscopy reveals transformation of mitochondria during apoptosis.” Nature Cell Biology, 9 (2007): 1057-1065.