Can swim for over 100 days!Human heart muscle cells make artificial Fish

2022-06-07 0 By

Researchers at Harvard University and Emory University have teamed up to create a fully autonomous “artificial fish” using heart muscle cells derived from human stem cells.The bio-hybrid device contains both biological and artificial parts and can swim in water for more than 100 days through contraction of the heart muscle.The work could help develop artificial hearts made from living muscle cells and provide a platform for studying heart diseases such as arrhythmias.The paper was published Tuesday in the journal Science.A diagram of an artificial fish swimming on its own.The heart has two functional regulatory features:Mechanical electrical signals and automaticity, which the researchers transferred to an artificial zebrafish device.The installation was inspired by the shape and swimming movements of zebrafish.The artificial zebrafish has two layers of muscle cells, one on each side of the caudal fin.The researchers used external photogene stimulation to control its muscle contractions and make it swim like a fish.When one side contracts, the other side stretches.This stretching triggers the opening of mechanically sensitive protein channels, which leads to contraction, which leads to stretching, and so on, creating a closed circulatory system that can propel it to swim autonomously for 108 days.”By using mechanical electrical signals from the heart between two layers of muscle, we reconstructed a system that circulates automatically with each contraction,” the researchers said.The results highlight the role of feedback mechanisms in muscle pumps such as the heart.The researchers also designed an autonomous pacing node, like a pacemaker, to control the frequency and rhythm of spontaneous contractions.The combination of two layers of muscles and autonomous pacing nodes in an artificial fish produces continuous, spontaneous, coordinated fin swings.”Our fish live longer, move faster and swim more efficiently than before because of two internal pacing mechanisms,” said Sung-jin Park, lead author of the study and a former postdoctoral fellow in the Marine Disease biophysics group.This innovation provides a model for studying electrical signals in the heart rhythm, as well as for understanding the pathophysiology of sinus node dysfunction and arrhythmias.The artificial fish, Keel Yong Lee, Sung-Jin Park, David G. Matthews, George Lauder, and Kevin Kit Parker, improve their fitness with age.Its muscle contraction, maximum swimming speed and muscle coordination all improved during the first month as the heart muscle cells matured.Eventually, artificial zebrafish can achieve similar speed and swimming efficiency to wild zebrafish.”Our ultimate goal is to build an artificial heart that can replace a deformed heart in a child,” said Kit Parker, a professor of applied physics at Harvard and senior author of the paper.The “artificial fish” in the study was created using heart muscle cells derived from human stem cells, one of the achievements of human stem cell research.What are stem cells?As a kind of pluripotent cells with self-replication and differentiation ability, stem cells can differentiate into tissue cells in multiple directions under certain conditions, which is the “special function” that ordinary cells do not have.Using this quality, stem cells have shown unrivalled potential for developing artificial organs, treating genetic diseases and even fighting infectious diseases.Source: Science and Technology Daily editor: Wang Yu Review: Yue Liang final review: Wang Yu