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Artificial Jellyfish Created From Silicone And Rat’s Heart

Bioengineers from Harvard University have created an artificial Jellyfish using silicone and muscle cells from a rat’s heart. Scientists have named the synthetic creature a Medusoid. The discovery can be used to save lives in the future.


Artificial Jellyfish, Image Credit : Harvard University

A group of Harvard University researchers has engineered an artificial Jellyfish from silicone and cells from a rat’s heart. The name of this artificial Jellyfish is Medusoid. The Medusoid is no larger than a 1p coin. After observing the movement of Aurelia aurita (scientific name of Jellyfish) the Medusoid was created. Researchers at California Institute of Technology used silicone to print the muscle structure of the Jellyfish. Protein molecules from the rat’s hearts were added to the material and the printed structure guided the growth and organisation. When the material was removed from the heart, individual heart cells contracted and responded to an electrical current. When five volt electric pulses had been passed through the Medusoid, it started swimming through the water by using the pulsating rat heart cells.

Design Of Artificial Jellyfish Medusoid, Image Credit : Janna Nawroth

Researchers took four years to create the Medusoid. Medusoid has eight lobes. The lobes can reach out from the centre like arms. Besides, the artificial Jellyfish is capable of creating tissue. Kevin Kit Parker, who is the master mind behind the technology and a biophysicist at Harvard University said, “Genetically, this thing is a rat. We took a rat apart and rebuilt it as a jellyfish.” He has described the artificial Jellyfish in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Scientists believe that the technology could be used to change human medicine trial procedure. Now, the researchers plan to make the artificial Jellyfish more sophisticated, allowing it to turn and move in a particular direction. Besides, scientists have started to work on more complicated artificial marine creatures.

Source : Nature
Thanks To : MSNBC

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