Scientists have created a platform on which to grow both the culture of neurons and artificial muscles. The processes of nerve cells in the system grew towards the muscle cells, their spontaneous impulses intensified reduction of the muscular fibres contributed to the organization of the sarcomeres. Substances that isolated muscle cells, accelerated the formation of electrical activity and synchronization between neurons. Article published in the journal APL Bioengineering.
Modern technologies allow to create hybrid mechanismsthat combine hardware and live muscle cells. This technique is used in bioengineering and robotics to create mobile modules in a small scale. While in living organisms the muscles are always associated with nerve cells that coordinate the complex movements and adapt the whole system to changing environmental conditions. The use of natural neuromuscular contacts in biohybrid mechanisms in the future may allow them to perform more complex functions.
Motor neurons and muscle fibers that they Innervate, are evolving in close connection with each other. This two-way contact is mediated by substances that produce the cells, and biophysical interactions. Operate simultaneously not only individual neuromuscular units, but entire populations of neurons — they coordinate their activity to control movements.
Scientists under the leadership of Onur aydın (Onur Aydin) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a platform on which to grow both the culture of neurons and up to four separate tissue samples. In the middle of the platform dropped off neurosphere group of nerve cells that are differentiated from embryonic stem cells of mice and contain motor neurons.
In four of the lateral compartment placed strips of skeletal muscle, which has evolved from murine myoblasts, fibroblasts or cell-free substance. Muscles are attached to moving columns that have recorded a decline. The gaps of the platform were filled with extracellular matrix through which different tissue compartments could interact.