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  • Harvard engineers grew a cybernetic organoid from stem cells

    Researchers at Harvard University were able to develop a fundamentally new method of creating organoids - derived from stem cells miniature models of real organs. The innovative creation of scientists - in fact, a cyborg: it is riddled with numerous electronic sensors to track the behavior of individual elements.

    By themselves, the organelles are created for the development of new medical technologies. However, the usual methods are imperfect - they do not allow to consider in detail the process of formation of the final model, especially at the most important early stages. The introduction of any tracking sensors disrupts the development of future mini-body. The problem was solved by researchers from the team of Jia Liu, Professor at the Harvard school of engineering and applied science.

    Engineers described the process of creating cybernetic organoids from stem cells in an article published in the journal Nano Letters. The main core of the method remained the same, but Jia Liu's team suggested introducing electronic sensors in the first steps of growth. The sensors added at such an early stage form a living integral system with the cells, that is, a kind of organic-synthetic hybrid that provides the possibility of detailed monitoring of cell development.

    The basis of the experiment, the researchers took their own development — ultra-thin and flexible conducting networks created to work with cell cultures. During the study, engineers have made a new wave-like version of his creation, characterized by greater extensibility. After that, they placed the invention on a substrate of stem cells, and then stimulated those to develop. As the organoid grew, it "absorbed" the network, making it part of its own structure. The experiment was a success: a team of scientists created a cybernetic model of the heart muscle lived in a test tube for 90 days.

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