Academic Title-Position: Gutgsell Professor, Mechanical Science and Engineering
Department: Mechanical Science and Engineering
University: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Research Lab: Saif Lab | Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory
Research Group Leader: Biobots
Topic: Biomachines (Motile Bots, Pump-bots), MPS (Neuron-Muscle)
Contributing Trainee(s) and corresponding trainee projects: Onur Aydin (Motile Bots, Neuron-Muscle), Zhengwei Li (Pump-bots).
This is the first prototype of a bio-hybrid swimmer where a group of neurons innervate a band of muscle wrapping around two tails of the swimmer. The neurons fire collectively and synchronously. As a result, the tails bend like flagella and the swimmer can swim. Such biological machines may one day be used for intelligent drug delivery, environmental cleaning, and for sensing.
O. Aydin, X. Zhang, S. Nuethong, G.J. Pagan-Diaz, R. Bashir, M. Gazzola, and M.T.A. Saif (2019). Neuromuscular actuation of biohybrid motile bots. PNAS, 116(40), 19841-19847.