Bullet and the Biohack: Repurposing dead organs

In this talk I will discuss the recent bio-hacking activities and the Pelling Lab for Biophysical Manipulation. The lab is focused on the manipulation of life with artificial stimuli and microenvironments. I will discuss our manipulations of various magnitudes, including the culture of cells onto bio-INcompatible substrates with no relationship to any natural micro-environment, the growing of human-jellyfish hybrid ‘skins’ onto LEGO mini-figures, and ‘organ-hacking’ (the re-purposing/re-culturing of tissues and organs for non-biological means). The lab is a curiosity driven environment interested in finding the limits of normal biological function and pushing beyond them to create something new.



Andrew Pelling

Canada Research Chair and Professor, Department of Physics, Department of Biology, Institute of Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa


Andrew Pelling is appointed in the departments of Physics and Biology, University of Ottawa. He became a Canada Research Chair in 2008, received an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement in 2009 and an Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2010. Dr. Pelling completed his BSc at University of Toronto, his PhD at UCLA and his post-doctoral research at University College London. He leads the Laboratory for Biophysical Manipulation, which focuses on the integration of optics, nanomechanical probes, cell biology and genetic engineering to manipulate and control life. Andrew’s work is highly collaborative and exploratory and always open to new directions and ideas.

Image credit: Peter Thornton, University of Ottawa