Scientists grew living cells on a robot skeleton in this bizarre experiment
Scientists have discovered a new concept in tissue engineering. The science of culturing human cells for use in medical treatments is still very young. But scientists have been working hard to find new ways to do this effectively. A new method discovered by engineers could improve the quality of tissue engineering by developing it on moving robotic skeletons.
A new concept in tissue engineering can grow cells on a moving robot skeleton
But what makes the growth of human cells on a moving skeleton so important? Typically, these types of cells are grown in very static environments, like these brain cells grown in a petri dish. As such, the cells are not particularly designed to flex and move like natural cells. In the past, researchers have grown cells on hinges. But these cells only flex and stretch in one direction.
By growing them on a full robotic skeleton, the cells could be engineered to bend and stretch like naturally grown human cells. This could allow for medical treatment in larger situations, particularly if the cells are needed for areas requiring bending or stretching. Of course, this new concept of tissue engineering still has a long way to go before reaching “proof of concept”.
However, it is a fantastic advance for research and I can only applaud it. The researchers published an article in Communications Engineering who documents their findings. They decided to go with a robotic skeleton because growing cells in a real person can lead to a lot of difficulties.
Grow cells on a robotic skeleton
To test the new concept of tissue engineering, the researchers built a robotic shoulder joint that could precisely approximate our own movements. From there, they made a bioreactor and installed it in the shoulder. The reactor comprised chains of biodegradable filaments that stretched between two anchor points.
They then seeded the filaments with human cells and flooded a chamber built around the filaments with a nutrient-rich liquid. This helped encourage cell growth. Over the course of two weeks, the cells grew alongside a daily workout routine. This routine included 30 minutes of skeleton moving cells to help stretch and flex them.
Throughout the experiment, the researchers noted several differences and changes in the cells. Especially when compared to cells grown in a static environment. However, they don’t really know if the changes caused by the new concept of tissue engineering are actually good. Instead, one of the researchers said The edge that the changes were ambiguous for use in medical applications.
Ultimately, growing human cells on a robotic skeleton is possible. However, researchers have yet to determine whether the changes caused by the skeleton are really worth it. Finding new tissue engineering concepts is certainly a noble goal. But, if the concept does not prove valid, researchers will no doubt seek other concepts to help human cells grow better.