UMBC Biology Council of Majors

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Muscle-powered Bio-bots

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 14, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have bioengineered walking “bio-bots” which are powered with only electric impulses sent to muscle cells. They are using skeletal muscle cells because of their ability to be controlled. This customized allows different shapes to be made for a variety of tasks. These “bio-bots” are the first step in creating programmable biological machines trained to do work.

Rashid Bashir, head of bioengineering at the U. of I. states, “We’re trying to integrate these principles of engineering with biology in a way that can be used to design and develop biological machines and systems for environmental and medical applications. Biology is tremendously powerful, and if we can somehow learn to harness its advantages for useful applications, it could bring about a lot of great things. Our goal is for these devices to be used as autonomous sensors. We want it to sense specific chemical and move towards it, then release agents to neutralize the toxin, for example.”

Ahlberg, Liz. "News Bureau | University of Illinois." Muscle-powered Bio-bots Walk on Command. News Bureau of University of Illinois, 30 June 2014. Web. 14 July 2014.

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