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Muscle Tissue Laced With Technology To Augment Drug Deliver And Grow Neurons

Lab researchers at Harvard University have interlaced wires and transistors into a sample of rat heart tissue in order to test the potential of melding organic tissue with artificial components. The team embedded 3D networks of conductive nanowires containing silicon sensors into the tissue that were both flexible and small enough to avoid impeding the growth of the tissue. The researchers were not only able to grow rat neurons, heart cells and muscle in these hybrid meshes of wire and tissue, but when they stimulated heart cell contraction, they detected an increase in heart rate, indicating normal tissue behavior in reacting to changes. The ‘cyborg’ tissue could be potentially used to test drugs, become part of a prosthetic, or be part of the basis for existing implants like pacemakers.

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