It’s alive! Researchers reverse engineer jellyfish using silicone and rat cells

24/07/2012

Could a reverse-engineered jellyfish, fabricated from silicone and rat cardiac cells, signify the emergence of a new class engineered organs and organisms? A team of researchers at Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) aligned rat muscle cells to a silicone substrate in a defined surface pattern as part of a successful bid to reverse engineer a medusa jellyfish.

Their goal?

Creating a design that mimics muscular pumps in nature, with the jellyfish's contraction and movement closely mirroring another muscular pump, the human heart. Dubbed the Medusoid, the researchers called the artificial organism a "test tube jellyfish" and described their methodology in a paper published in Nature Biotechnology on July 22....
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