Bio-engineers at Harvard University Wyss Institute created a stingray robot made of rat heart cells, that propels itself through water with the use of light — a creation that could be used for modeling artificial, non-mechanical hearts.
The blueprint in itself, although unseemly, reflects many qualities of a natural human heart, explained lead engineer, Kit Parker. Like a stingray, the heart has to navigate the obstacles of fluid and motion, it has to make quick precise movements.
The stingray model is made up of a golden skeletal frame, wrapped in transparent silicone and made up of 200,000 heart cells from a rat that are modified to react to light. Its function under light rather than electricity opens up a new door of possibilities for artificial hearts, as previous have been mechanical pumps that cannot grow or change over time, like cells can.
Read full story at: KQED