Self-powered Cell Robot and Natural Cardiac Tissue Engineering

Self-powered Cell Robot and Natural Cardiac Tissue Engineering
Issue Date
2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
We developed a novel method to fabricate a crab-like microrobot that can actuate for a long period in a physiological condition. The microrobot backbone was built with a biocompatible and elastic material—polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)—by using a specially designed 3D molding aligner. Cardiomyocytes were then plated on the top surface of the backbone, resulting in a high concentration of pulsating cells and walking continuously for over ten days. [1] Then, the contractility of cardiomyocytes using 3D complex hybrid biopolymer microcantilevers was quantified and compared with that observed in a 2D environment. By measuring the deflections of the microcantilevers with different surfaces and carrying out finite element modeling (FEM) of the focal pressures of the microcantilevers, it was found that the contractile force of high-density cardiomyocytes on grooved surfaces was 65–85% higher than that of cardiomyocytes on flat surfaces. [2] Also, to mimic natural cardiac tissue, neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were cultured under several culture conditions, and cell proliferation, myotube formation and functionality were characterized by cell morphology, immunocytochemical staining and time lapse confocal scanning microscopic technique. We confirmed when cardiomyocytes were cultured in certain condition, highly straitened cell morphology was detected and subsequent fusion into mytotubes was highly developed.
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