lunes, 20 de enero de 2014

Scientists Discover Synthetic Self-Propelled Swimming Bio-Bots (Video)

A veterinarian checks semen collected from stud bulls at a semen collection center in Preska, central Slovenia, April 19, 2010. (Photo : REUTERS )

Thanks to engineers from the University of Illinois, they've come up with a new line of miniature 'swimming bio-bots' that are the first class of synthetic structures to travel through viscous biological fluids on their own.

Background information from the study notes that that these bio-hybrid machines that have been modeled after flagella carry the ability to swim like sperm.

"Micro-organisms have a whole world that we only glimpse through the microscope," said lead investigator Taher Saif, a mechanical science and engineering professor at the university in a press release. "This is the first time that an engineered system has reached this underworld."

Engineers used a flexible polymer to first begin building the bio-bots. Soon after, they cultured heart cells near the junction of the bio-bots' head and tail to complete the project. These aquatic bio-bots could provide future versions of machines to detect certain chemicals that may be potentially easier to navigate than current ones used. In fact, researchers hope that this technology could one day be used to deliver drugs that could help with better performance during invasive surgeries.

"The most intriguing aspect of this work is that it demonstrates the capability to use computational modeling in conjunction with biological design to optimize performance, or design entirely different types of swimming bio-bots," said EBICS director Roger Kamm, a professor of biological and mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), via RedOrbit. "This opens the field up to a tremendous diversity of possibilities. Truly an exciting advance."

More information regarding the study can can be found via the journal Nature Communications.

Want to see the bio-bots in action? Check out this video, courtesy of YouTube.

ORIGINAL: Science World Report
Jan 20, 2014 

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