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It swims! Jellyfish made from rat cells, silicone

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Researchers at Caltech and Harvard have used elastic silicone and rat muscle cells to create a freely swimming jellyfish.

When the researchers set their creation free in an electrically conducting container of fluid and oscillated the voltage from zero volts to five, they shocked it into swimming with synchronized contractions that mimic those of real jellyfish. In fact, the muscle cells started to contract a bit on their own even before the electrical current was applied.

The team’s next goal is to have the “jellyfish” be able to go out and gather food on its own.

Then, researchers could think about systems that could live in the human body for years at a time without having to worry about batteries because the system would be able to fend for itself. For example, these systems could be the basis for a pacemaker made with biological elements.

Full story at Futurity.

More research news from top universities.

Photo credit: Caltech and Harvard

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