BioBots Use Rat Heart Cell’s To Power 3D Printer

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Posted on: November 19th, 2012

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Biological Robot’s always seemed like far flung sci-fi when I was a kid, so the fact that technology is evolving so fast is a constant source of wonder. The latest piece of scientific wonderment is the creation by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of a robot born out of 3D printing and advanced bio-engineering, essentially biobot technology. Harnessing the power of rat heart cells a 3D printer was used to create a 7mm asymmetric hydrogel body that features “one, long thin leg resting on a stout supporting leg.” The thin leg is covered with the rat heart cells, and it moves when those cells beat. By itself.

Fucking Awesome!

The lead researcher Rashid Bashir explains they;

“harness the power of cells and nature to address challenges facing society.”

“nature solves a problem in such an elegant way. Can we replicate some of that if we can understand how to put things together with cells?”

Eventually the aim for the bio-bots is to train them to “look for a specific toxin and then try to neutralize it.” i.e.  for drug screening as it could react to specific chemical compounds only found in specific drugs. It’s a slow process however and next up for nano tech is to improve the robot’s control and function so that future bio-bot’s may be able to respond to sunlight thanks to the cells that inhabit its frame.

Here’s the vid below:

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