Researchers at Harvard University developed an artificial stingray powered by rat heart muscle cells that they hope may lead them to engineer a human heart.
Kevin Kit Parker, PhD, of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and colleagues published their findings online in Science on July 7.
“One can imagine that one day we can use this technology to rebuild parts of the human body,” says Kedi Xu, PhD, a neural engineer at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, told Science.
The researchers created a biohybrid system in which the tissue-engineered ray could swim and follow a light cue. Parker told Science that he will use the stingray to better understand the human heart.
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