Red Ice News

The Future is the Past

Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics
New to Red Ice? Start Here!

Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics

Source: newscientist.com


They beat like real heart cells, but the rat cardiomyocytes in a dish at Harvard University are different in one crucial way. Snaking through them are wires and transistors that spy on each cell’s electrical impulses. In future, the wires might control their behaviour too.

Versions of this souped-up, "cyborg" tissue have been created for neurons, muscle and blood vessels. They could be used to test drugsMovie Camera or as the basis for more biological versions of existing implants such as pacemakers. If signals can also be sent to the cells, cyborg tissue could be used in prosthetics or to create tiny robots.

"It allows one to effectively blur the boundary between electronic, inorganic systems and organic, biological ones," says Charles Lieber, who leads the team behind the cyborg tissue.

Artificial tissue can already be grown on three-dimensional scaffolds made of biological materials that are not electrically active. And electrical components have been added to cultured tissue before, but not integrated into its structure, so they were only able to glean information from the surface.


Bio-scaffolds go electric



Bioengineers at Harvard University have created the first examples of cyborg tissue: Neurons, heart cells, muscle, and blood vessels that are interwoven by nanowires and transistors. Source


Electrically inflamed

Lieber’s team combined these strands of work to create electrically active scaffolds. They created 3D networks of conductive nanowires studded with silicon sensors. Crucially, the wires had to be flexible and extremely small, to avoid impeding the growth of tissue. The scaffold also contained traditional biological materials such as collagen.

The researchers were able to grow rat neurons, heart cells and muscle in these hybrid meshes. In the case of the heart cells, they started to contract just like normal cells, and the researchers used the network to read out the rate of the beats.

When they added a drug that stimulates heart cell contraction, they detected an increase in the rate, indicating the tissue was behaving like normal and that the network could sense such changes.

Lieber’s team also managed to grow an entire blood vessel about 1.5 centimetres long from human cells, with wires snaking through it. By recording electrical signals from inside and outside the vessel– something that was never possible before– the team was able to detect electrical patterns that they say could give clues to inflammation, whether tissue has undergone changes that make it prone to tumour formation or suggest impending heart disease.

[...]

Read the full article at: newscientist.com










Tune into Red Ice Radio:

Kevin Warwick - "I, Cyborg": Implants, RFID, Microchips & Cybernetics

John Lash - Artificial Technomania of the Archons

Michael Tsarion - The Post Human World

Aaron Franz - TransAlchemy, Save the Humans!

Comments

We're Hiring

We are looking for a professional video editor, animator and graphics expert that can join us full time to work on our video productions.

Apply

Help Out

Sign up for a membership to support Red Ice. If you want to help advance our efforts further, please:

Donate

Tips

Send us a news tip or a
Guest suggestion

Send Tip

Related News

The Latest London Terror Attack on Finsbury Park Mosque is Just Part-and-Parcel of Living in a Big City
The Latest London Terror Attack on Finsbury Park Mosque is Just Part-and-Parcel of Living in a Big City
Hitler, Zionists, and Ken Livingstone
Hitler, Zionists, and Ken Livingstone

Archives Pick

Red Ice T-Shirts

Red Ice Radio

3Fourteen

How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
Yoko Mada - How Right Wing Is Japan Today?
European Cooking & Philosophy
Elisabeth - European Cooking & Philosophy

TV

A Look Inside the Walhalla Memorial - From the Road
A Look Inside the Walhalla Memorial - From the Road
The Great American Solar Eclipse
The Great American Solar Eclipse

RSSYoutubeGoogle+iTunesSoundCloudStitcherTuneIn

Design by Henrik Palmgren © Red Ice Privacy Policy