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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:40 PM


Rat heart cells help create walking 'bio-bots

BBC News

Each twitch of the rat cells helps the tiny bio-bot move

Tiny biological robots that walk to the beat of a thin sheet of rat heart cells have been created by US scientists.

The "bio-bots" were fabricated using a 3D printer and then seeded with the cardiac cells.

The regular twitching motion of the heart cells makes the tiny structure flex and slowly inch along.

The project could lead to bio-bots with different shapes, seeded with all sorts of cells, that find a role in medicine or as sensors, said the researchers.

The 7mm long bio-bots were fabricated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and resemble a diving board. They have one long leg supported towards one end by a broad stumpy foot.

A 3D printing process was used to build up layers to form the board and foot of the bio-bot from hydrogel - a biologically inert goo often used in tissue engineering work.

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Reply Rat heart cells help create walking 'bio-bots (Original post)
DaniDubois Nov 2012 OP
surrealAmerican Nov 2012 #1
DaniDubois Nov 2012 #2

Response to DaniDubois (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:51 PM

1. How do they keep the cells alive?

... and what happens to the "robot" after they die? Can it be re-seeded, or is it just done?

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:11 PM

2. I'm not sure. It didn't go into that much detail but,


I wondered that myself. Also wondered what the rate of rejection would be for rat material in human body. But very cool none the less.

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