Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Electricity pumps artificial jellyfish through water

Scientists in the US have created a free swimming artificial jellyfish.
The team members built the replica using silicone as a base on which to grow heart muscle cells that were harvested from rats.
They used an electric current to shock the Medusoid into swimming with synchronised contractions that mimic those of real jellyfish.
The advance, by researchers at Caltech and Harvard University, is reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
Because jellyfish use a muscle to pump their way through the water, the way they function - on a very basic level - is similar to that of a human heart.
The researchers say this makes the animal a good biological system for using as a study model in tissue engineering.

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