Thursday March 02, 2017

Robots to Wear Real Human Tissue

The Terminator's an infiltration unit, part man, part machine. Underneath, it's a hyperalloy combat chassisآ—micro processor-controlled, fully armored. Very tough. But outside, it's living human tissueآ—flesh, skin, hair, blood, grown for the cyborgsآ…

Robots dressed in human flesh would benefit people who need tissue transplants, Oxford University researchers have said this week. At present, human cells are grown in stationary environments, but moving humanoids could help them develop in a far more healthier way. Robots could "wear" tissue grafts before transplantation, researchers Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy and Andrew Carr propose in the latest issue of Science Robotics. Today sheets of cells are grown in stagnant tanks, but these "fail to mimic the real mechanical environment for cells," say the scientists. The resulting tissues aren’t used to moving, stretching, and straining, which make them problematic for use by patients.