View Full Version : 'Living' robots powered by muscle

17 Jan 05,, 15:12
Tiny robots powered by living muscle have been created by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The devices were formed by "growing" rat cells on microscopic silicon chips, the researchers report in the journal Nature Materials.

Less than a millimetre long, the miniscule robots can move themselves without any external source of power.

The work is a dramatic example of the marriage of biotechnology with the tiny world of nanotechnology.

In nanotechnology, researchers often turn to the natural world for inspiration.

But Professor Carlo Montemagno, of the University of California, Los Angeles, turns to nature not for ideas, but for actual starting materials.

In the past he has made rotary nano-motors out of genetically engineered proteins. Now he has grown muscle tissue onto tiny robotic skeletons.

...."They're absolutely alive," Professor Montemagno told BBC News. "I mean the cells actually grow, multiply and assemble - they form the structure themselves. So the device is alive."

More here...http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4181197.stm