Researchers create self-propelled "bio-bot" using heart cells

03/28/2013 | Popular Science

Bioengineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a self-propelled robot using a 3D printer, hydrogel used in contact lenses and the living heart cells of a rat. According to Rashid Bashir, the involuntary contractions of the heart cells move the "bio-bot" forward at a rate of roughly 15 millimeters a minute. Bashir says the scientists are considering speeding up their creation by switching to cells from the heart of a bird, which beat five times faster than those of a rat.

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