Bashir leads study to develop bio-bots
ECE affiliate professor Rashid Bashir and his team in the bioengineering department led a study into the development of bio-bots powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical optical pulses.
The team of researchers published papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which detail a step-by-step process for other scientists to replicate the process to build their own bio-bots.
“The purpose of the paper was to provide the detailed recipes and protocols so that others can easily duplicate the work and help to further permeate the idea of 'building with biology'—so that other researchers and educators can have the tools and the knowledge to build these bio-hybrid systems and attempt to address challenges in health, medicine and environment that we face as a society,” Bashir told R&D magazine.
This discovery has creates unique opportunities for the future of machine-behavior, which includes self-assembly and self-healing. The technology, according to the study, has the potential to adapt to environmental signals in real time.
Ritu Raman, a postdoctoral in the bioengineering department and a researcher on this study, attributed the success of bio-bot creation to the “3D printing revolution.” Raman told R&D Magazine that 3D printing gave the team the tools necessary to create skeletal muscle rings that could be used in the bio-bots.