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. 
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. 
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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