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Thread: Biobots: Tissue-Based Robots

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    Biobots: Tissue-Based Robots






    UCLA bioengineering professor Ali Khademhosseini has led the development of a tissue-based soft robot that mimics the biomechanics of a stingray. The new technology could lead to advances in bio-inspired robotics, regenerative medicine and medical diagnostics.

    The simple body design of stingrays, specifically, a flattened body shape and side fins that start at the head and end at the base of their tail, makes them ideal to model bio-electromechanical systems on.

    The 10-millimeter long robot is made up of four layers: tissue composed of live heart cells, two distinct types of specialized biomaterials for structural support, and flexible electrodes. Imitating nature, the robotic stingray is even able to "flap" its fins when the electrodes contract the heart cells on the biomaterial scaffold.

    "The development of such bioinspired systems could enable future robotics that contain both biological tissues and electronic systems," Khademhosseini said. "This advancement could be used for medical therapies such as personalized tissue patches to strengthen cardiac muscle tissue for heart attack patients."

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-01-stingr...iobot.html#jCp
    Abstract

    To create life-like movements, living muscle actuator technologies have borrowed inspiration from biomimetic concepts in developing bioinspired robots. Here, the development of a bioinspired soft robotics system, with integrated self-actuating cardiac muscles on a hierarchically structured scaffold with flexible gold microelectrodes is reported. Inspired by the movement of living organisms, a batoid-fish-shaped substrate is designed and reported, which is composed of two micropatterned hydrogel layers. The first layer is a poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel substrate, which provides a mechanically stable structure for the robot, followed by a layer of gelatin methacryloyl embedded with carbon nanotubes, which serves as a cell culture substrate, to create the actuation component for the soft body robot. In addition, flexible Au microelectrodes are embedded into the biomimetic scaffold, which not only enhance the mechanical integrity of the device, but also increase its electrical conductivity. After culturing and maturation of cardiomyocytes on the biomimetic scaffold, they show excellent myofiber organization and provide self-actuating motions aligned with the direction of the contractile force of the cells. The Au microelectrodes placed below the cell layer further provide localized electrical stimulation and control of the beating behavior of the bioinspired soft robot.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...201704189/full
    This could help people with missing limbs, or people in need of certain organ replacements or repairs. There's lots of possibilities.
    Last edited by Jovialis; 13-01-18 at 15:47.
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