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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Synthetic Swimming Bio-bots – University of lllinois Engineers Innovate Again

(Credit: Alex Jerez Roman, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology)

What can you get when you combine heart cells, wire and polymer shaped liked sperm?

A synthetic swimming bio-bot. The cells organize themselves into a useful alignment, and then synchronize their "heart beat" to swing the tail and move forward. And, double-tailed structures move even faster.

The engineering and creativity is from Taher Saif and other Beckman Center researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – see here for a ScienceDaily summary of the work. See here for a YouTube animation. See here for video of the real bio-bots.

Current applications? Zero. Future possibilities? Many – see the U of I press release.

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