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Researchers grow cyborg tissues with embedded nanoelectronics

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Harvard Gazette
Aug 30, 2012

Harvard scientists have created a type of “cyborg” tissue for the first time by embedding a three-dimensional network of functional, biocompatible, nanoscale wires into engineered human tissues.

As described in a paper published Aug. 26 in the journal Nature Materials, a research team led by Charles M. Lieber, the Mark Hyman Jr. Professor ofChemistry at Harvard, and Daniel Kohane, a Harvard Medical Schoolprofessor in the Department of Anesthesia at Children’s Hospital Boston, developed a system for creating nanoscale “scaffolds” that can be seeded with cells that grow into tissue.

“The current methods we have for monitoring or interacting with living systems are limited,” said Lieber. “We can use electrodes to measure activity in cells or tissue, but that damages them. With this technology, for the first time, we can work at the same scale as the unit of biological system without interrupting it. Ultimately, this is about merging tissue with electronics in a way that it becomes difficult to determine where the tissue ends and the electronics begin.”

Contributing to the work were Robert Langer, from the Koch Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Zhigang Suo, the Allen E. and Marilyn M. Puckett Professor of Mechanics and Materials at Harvard’sSchool of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

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This article was posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 2:47 am





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