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Science. 2016 Jul 8;353(6295):158-62. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf4292.

Phototactic guidance of a tissue-engineered soft-robotic ray.

Author information

1
Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
2
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
3
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Sogang University, Seoul 121-742, Korea. Sogang-Harvard Research Center for Disease Biophysics, Sogang University, Seoul 121-742, Korea.
4
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
5
Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
6
Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
7
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Physics, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Kavli Institute for Nanobio Science and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138S, USA.
8
Disease Biophysics Group, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Sogang-Harvard Research Center for Disease Biophysics, Sogang University, Seoul 121-742, Korea. kkparker@seas.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Inspired by the relatively simple morphological blueprint provided by batoid fish such as stingrays and skates, we created a biohybrid system that enables an artificial animal--a tissue-engineered ray--to swim and phototactically follow a light cue. By patterning dissociated rat cardiomyocytes on an elastomeric body enclosing a microfabricated gold skeleton, we replicated fish morphology at 1/10 scale and captured basic fin deflection patterns of batoid fish. Optogenetics allows for phototactic guidance, steering, and turning maneuvers. Optical stimulation induced sequential muscle activation via serpentine-patterned muscle circuits, leading to coordinated undulatory swimming. The speed and direction of the ray was controlled by modulating light frequency and by independently eliciting right and left fins, allowing the biohybrid machine to maneuver through an obstacle course.

PMID:
27387948
PMCID:
PMC5526330
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaf4292
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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