Singularity News

Friday, September 07, 2007

Harvard Makes Progress on “Biohybrid Materials for Soft Robotics”

[Cross Posted from our sister site: RobotCentral]

A team of scientists in the Disease Biophysics Group at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been working on interfacing biological material such as heart muscle tissue with man-made polymers. The team has figured out how to grow muscle tissue in a structured way so as to be able to begin applying it. Their method allows them to simply cut pieces of a thin film coated with microscopic stripes of living muscle tissue into whatever shape they want.

In a video published on their site yesterday, the team shows a successful micro-scale biomechanical muscle twitching semi-autonomously. They can control the kinematics by shaping the piece of the material in some deliberate way. The same video shows pieces of the material that were cut into triangular strips “swimming.” Another portion of the video shows a microscopic gripper opening and closing.

This technology certainly begets interesting conversation regarding the continued convergence of humans with technology.

Principal investigators on the Harvard Team are Kevin Kit Parker and George M. Whitesides. Co-Investigators are Adam W. Feinberg, Alex Feigel, Sergey S. Shevkoplyas and Sean Sheehy. The video was made by Adam W. Feinberg

Sources: Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (video), Additional material: NewScientistTech

Full Article: Harvard Makes Progress on “Biohybrid Materials for Soft Robotics”

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