Flexible muscle sheet, first step towards 'soft' robot future?

flexible muscle sheets may pave way for tomorrows

The world of robotics is ever happening with a few crazy and impertinent scientists never seeming to be satisfied with the ‘latest’ as well as the applauding world. So, are the medical fraternity – and the result could soon be a robot or a prosthetic device literally made of human parts!

Just thing of those thin elastic film sheets and studded with a rat heart muscle!

Ah! Sounds like a child’s lab experiment?

No, that is what Harvard University researchers have done and by passing electricity through it, they amazingly made the muscles contract, bend or move!

This straightaway hints not just on future sophisticated and ‘soft robots’, but also an effective way of replacing organs and even better prosthetic devices.

The elastic films were stamped with a stripe-pattern made of a protein — called fibronectin, helping the heart muscle cells successfully grow along the paths.

What has hit the headlines hard are not the researchers’ success in making these robot-like devices, but their being able to get the muscle cells line up properly! – Not to forget the molecular motors’ lining up inside them as well.

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