Cyborg: Biological and Electronic Merge
Harvard scientists have, for the first, time created a type of “cyborg” tissue by embedding a three-dimensional network of functional, bio-compatible nanoscale wires into engineered human tissues. As described in a paper published in Nature Materials, a multi-institutional research team led by Harvard’s Charles M. Lieber and Daniel Kohane developed a system for creating nanoscale “scaffolds” which could be seeded with cells which later grew into tissue.
The research addresses a concern that has long been associated with work on bioengineered tissue — how to create systems capable of sensing chemical or electrical changes in the tissue after it has been grown and implanted. The system might also represent a solution to researchers’ struggles in developing methods to directly stimulate engineered tissues and measure cellular reactions.