JUL 16, 2016 06:25 AM PDT

Scientists Create Robotic 'Fish' Powered by Heart Cells

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Scientists working in collaboration at Harvard, Stanford and Sogang Universities were inspired by batoid fish such as stingrays to create a biohybrid system that gives an artificial animal, an engineered ray fish, the abilities to both swim as well as be guided by a light source, also known as phototaxis.

They put a layer of muscle cells, rat cardiomyocytes, onto an elastomeric body enclosing a microfabricated gold skeleton, thus replicating the morphology of fish at small scales.

Using optogenetics, a technique that utilizes light to control cells in live tissue, the engineered animal is capable of phototactic guidance, steering, and turning maneuvers, and optical stimulation which leads to coordinated swimming.

The researchers are able to change the speed and direction of the ray by altering light frequency and by independently controlling right and left fins, thus allowing their biohybrid machine to navigate through an obstacle course.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 08, 2018
Videos
JUL 08, 2018
They Say an Elephant Never Forgets...
They say an elephant never forgets, but is this really true? It’s a question that scientists have been trying to answer for ages, and as it turns out...
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Rare Diseases That Changed Medicine
In the US, a disease is considered rare when it affects fewer than 200,000 people in the whole country. But, in Europe, a disease is considered rare when i...
JUL 31, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUL 31, 2018
The Gross Things That Lurk in Swimming Pools
The warmer temperatures associated with Summertime inevitably lead to more swimming pool visits, but have you ever stopped to think about the gross things...
AUG 07, 2018
Videos
AUG 07, 2018
Can "Going Keto" Affect Your Skin?
The ketogenic diet is quite trendy and is hailed by health professionals and followers for weight loss, metabolic benefits and cholesterol management. It i...
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
One Cell was Consumed by Another in a Evolutionary Leap
A process called endosymbiosis may have given evolution a lot of help....
AUG 14, 2018
Videos
AUG 14, 2018
Meditation and the Corporate World
During a busy work day it’s hard to find the time to shut it all down and take a break, but in some companies, meditation breaks are becoming a way f...
Loading Comments...