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Autonomous biohybrid fish floating from human heart cells reveals an understanding of heart physiology

The first fully autonomous biohybrid fish from heart muscle cells derived from human stem cells. Author: Michael Rosnach, Keel He Lee, Son Gene Park, Kevin Keith Parker

An autonomously floating biohybrid fish, developed with an emphasis on two key regulatory features of the human heart, has shown the importance of feedback mechanisms in muscle pumps (e.g., the heart). Findings may one day help in the development of an artificial heart from living muscle cells.

Biohybrid systems – devices that contain both biological and artificial components – are an effective way to investigate the physiological control mechanisms in biological organisms and to identify robotic solutions to many pressing problems, including those related to human health. However, when it comes to natural pumps for transporting fluids, such as those circulating blood, the performance of biohybrid systems has been insufficient.

Here, researchers examined whether the two functional regulatory functions of the heart – mechanoelectric signaling and automatism – could be transferred to synthetic analogues of another fluid transport system: floating fish.

Lee et al. developed a self-floating fish built of two layers of human heart cells; the bilayer muscle layer was integrated using tissue engineering techniques. Lee and team were able to control muscle contraction in biohybrid fish using external optogenetic stimulation that allowed fish analogues to swim.

Schemes of autonomous swimming of biohybrid fish

Schemes of autonomously floating biohybrid fish. Author: Michael Rosnach, Keel He Lee, Son Gene Park, Kevin Keith Parker

In tests, biohybrid fish exceeded the rate of movement of previous biohybrid muscle systems, the authors say. He maintained spontaneous activity for 108 days. On the contrary, the authors say, biohybrid fish equipped with monolayer muscle showed a deterioration in activity during the first month.

The data from this study demonstrate the potential of two-layer muscle systems and mechanoelectric signaling as a means of promoting muscle maturation in vitro, Lee and colleagues write.

“Taken together,” the authors conclude, “the technology described here may be fundamental to creating autonomous systems capable of homeostatic regulation and adaptive behavior control.”

For more on this study, see Autonomous biohybrid fish – made from human heart cells – float like a beating heart.

Reference: “Autonomous floating biohybrid fish developed using the biophysics of the human heart” by Keel Yong Lee, Sung-Jin Park, David G. Matthews, Sean L. Kim, Carlos Antonio Marquez, John F. Zimmerman, Gerdeline Ann M. Ardogna, Andre G. Kleber, George W. Lauder and Kevin Keith Parker, February 10, 2022, Science.
DOI: 10.1126 / science.abh0474



https://scitechdaily.com/autonomously-swimming-biohybrid-fish-made-from-human-cardiac-cells-reveals-insights-into-heart-physiology/ Autonomous biohybrid fish floating from human heart cells reveals an understanding of heart physiology

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