Bioengineers developed an artificial jellyfish

Medusoid is the brainchild of professor Kevin Kit Parker and a team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Using silicone and muscle cells taken from a rat’s heart, the researchers managed to arrange the materials in such a way that they move when zapped with electricity.

“It occurred to me in 2007 that we might have failed to understand the fundamental laws of muscular pump,” said professor Kit Parker, co-author of the study. “I saw a jellyfish at the New England Aquarium, and I immediately noted both similarities and differences between how the jellyfish and the human heart pump. The similarities revealed what you need to design a bio-inspired pump.”

The movement is so realistic, that is seems that Medusoid swims like a real jellyfish — and, in fact, before the electrical current was applied, some of the muscle cells contracted a bit.

This technology could be the basis for a new type of pacemaker made with biological elements.

A comparison between a jellyfish and the silicone-based Medusoid. Image: Caltech/Janna Nawroth

Source: Harvard Science

1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. how did they engineered the muscle at such a small scale ?

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