Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics
2012 08 29

By Will Ferguson | 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 cellís 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

Lieberís 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.

Lieberís 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 vesselĖ something that was never possible beforeĖ 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!





Related Articles
Harvard creates cyborg flesh thatís half man, half machine
Artificial jellyfish created from heart cells
Electronics Made From Human Blood Cells Suggest Cyborg Interfaces, Spark Nightmares
Scientists Create Rat Cyborg With Artificial Cerebellum
Iím a Cyborg But Thatís OK
1 Cyborg cat walks on bionic feet
Cyborg Life: Kevin Warwick (Video)
Worldís first cybernetic hate crime?
You Are Cyborg


Latest News from our Front Page

Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S.
2014 08 20
While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous "killer robots," the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown. Security robots have become a special area of interest for developers. Britain ...
Is Michael Brown A National Hero?
2014 08 19
From: Brother Nathanael: I donít know about you but I revolt against crowning Michael Brown a ďnational hero.Ē Better the crown go to Darren Wilson who according to the Ferguson Police Report shot Brown in self-defense. Yet thereís already a bounty on his head. And the media eats it up. For whether itís NBC; CNN Öor the New York Times; the spin is that ...
Toxoplasmosis Ė The Revealing Behavior and Effects of Parasites
2014 08 19
A fascinating interview with neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky on toxoplasmosis and the behavior of a seemingly intelligent parasite. The parallels to archonic-type influences are astounding. A must see. From: zengardner.com For context, please listen to John Lash on White Genocide & The Archontic Infection
Emmy Awards 2014 - Spoilers! Leaked Clip for Best Psychopath!!
2014 08 19
WARNING SPOILER ALERT!!! Leaked clip from the 66th Annual Emmy Awards scheduled to air August 25th, 2014. Winner announced for best Psychopath of the year! Video from: youtube.com Canít get enough of those warm Zionist in Hollywood. Joan Rivers: "Palestinians deserve to be dead"
UN calls for tests on passengers in Ebola crackdown
2014 08 19
Health workers wearing protective clothing prepare to carry an abandoned dead body presenting with Ebola symptoms at Duwala market in Monrovia. Ebola-affected countries should immediately begin exit screening all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings, the UN health agency urged yesterday. The risk of the Ebola virus being transmitted during air travel is low because, unlike infections ...
More News Ľ