Dr. Ritu Raman is presenting at the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics in London
“Optogenetic Skeletal Muscle-Powered Adaptive Biological Machines”.
Understanding the design rules that govern the structure and function of natural biological systems gives us the ability to forward engineer machines integrated with and powered by biological components. Such machines, or “bio-bots,” can sense, process, and respond to dynamic environmental signals in real time, enabling a variety of applications. Here we present a modular optogenetic muscle actuator used to power actuation and locomotion of 3D printed flexible skeletons. Observing and controlling the functional response of such muscle-powered machines helps replicate the complex adaptive functionality we observe in natural biological systems. This demonstration thus sets the stage for building the next generation of bio-integrated machines and systems targeted at a diverse array of functional tasks.