Tissue for transplantation will grow in robots

Over the last couple of decades, robotics has achieved significant results. Four-legged robots, wheeled robots, ultra-precise manipulators are just a part of the array of models that we are now seeing. Of all the types of robots the greatest interest of laymen and scientists, perhaps, cause the humanoid system. Such devices are now actively helping people — they are used in the hotel business, scientific and military applications, in everyday life and medicine. As an example, the most sophisticated models can result in Kenshiro and Eccerobot. These robots is the analogue of bones and muscles (the developers had originally planned to repeat the structure of the human body), so that their movements resemble human.

Because the anatomy of those robots close to the original, some scholars consider the creation of such systems so called bioreactors. The purpose of any bioreactor is to create optimal conditions for vital activity of cultured therein cells and microorganisms, namely to provide the breathing supply and removal of metabolites by uniformly mixing the gas and liquid components of the contents of the bioreactor. In this article we are talking about systems for growing tissue for transplant patients. At that time, as organs can be taken for transplantation from donors, physicians are often required of tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage. Gradually they learn to grow, but in order to put the “production flow”, you need a bioreactor, where it is possible to grow tissue fragments according to the specified parameters.

In addition to the properties of the fabrics met the criteria for transplantation, they need to grow in certain conditions, including the presence of the necessary growth substances, and a certain mechanical load or mechanical stimulation, as they called this factor.

Unfortunately, this is not so simple, since the construction of modern bioreactors are largely primitive. In the mechanical stirring bioreactor is produced with a mechanical agitator, which leads to insufficiently uniform mixing on the one hand, and death of micro-organisms on the other. The mixing mode can be changed, but the optimal type of such reactors is difficult to call. The processes that occur in a real organism, including mechanical loads, these reactors play not. As a result suffers the quality of the grown tissues.

Optimum design of the bioreactor should be able to add a mechanical load to various destinations mode emulation of mechanical loads to tissues of different types, in accordance with the anatomical location of specific tissues and the overall compliance of conditions of tissue conditions in the body.

According to biologist Andrew Carr (Andrew Carr) and his colleagues, the bioreactor design should replicate the anatomy of the human body — those parts for which cultivated tissue. Therefore, humanoid robots with the skeleton and muscles, repeating the configuration of the skeleton and muscles of a man — the best option.

Experts from the University of Tokyo proposed his version of such a system. Kenshiro is a robot. The Japanese are working with this project for about 7 years and significantly improved the design of the robot.

Housing configuration similar to that of the body structure 12-year-old Japanese boy. Its height is 158 cm, weight — 50 kg. the robot Body is equipped with almost a full set of muscles, which is the human. Scientists have added 160 such muscles: 50 in the legs, 76 — torso, 12 — shoulders, 22 — neck. At the moment, Keshiro is the most perfect repetition of human anatomy in the robot.

What is common between the bioreactor and the robot? Andrew Carr believes that Keshiro or other similar systems can be converted to advanced bioreactors. The cells of the muscles will increase on electroactive polymers artificial muscles of the robot. In the process of growing new tissue will be subjected to mechanical stress, so that the samples will meet all necessary requirements. Similarly, scientists are going to grow other tissue, including tendons and cartilage.

The bioreactor of the future may well look like a model of terminator T-800. Metal or polymer frame is gradually built up of human tissue, including muscles, cartilage, ligaments and skin. The whole robot or its individual elements move, so the tissues are subjected to mechanical loads. After a certain period of time these tissues are removed from the frame for the transplant, the donor is human. Such bioreactors would eliminate the need for animal studies in clinical trials.