One Small Step For Cyborgs: Human Tissue Combined With Nanowires

Scientists have successfully figured out how to merge bioengineered human tissue with a nanoelectronic monitoring system.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

The physical merging of humans and technology is coming closer to reality at Harvard, where scientists report having successfully embedded bioengineered human tissue cells into networks of nanoscale silicon wires. Using a process that's similar to etching microchips, lattices of wires were created and combined with tiny electrodes to create a mesh that could be folded or rolled into various shapes. Once seeded with cells, scientists were able to see their behavior in a more realistic, three-dimensional environment. Bozhi Tian, a member of the development team, says, “Previous efforts to create bioengineered sensing networks have focused on two-dimensional layouts, where culture cells grow on top of electronic components...[We want] an accurate picture of cellular behavior within the 3-D structure of a tissue."

What's the Big Idea?

Bioengineers have long wondered how to monitor changes to manufactured tissue after that tissue has been grown and implanted. Nanoprobes of this type allow them to observe cell activity without disrupting it, which opens the way for a host of potential medical and research benefits. For now, lead researcher Charles M. Lieber believes that the technology might first be used to help pharmaceutical developers better understand how new drugs act on human tissue.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.