Science and Technology
A synthetic jellyfish that swims
Meet Medusoid, a bioengineered artificial jellyfish created by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
Less than a centimetre in diameter, it was made by printing a pattern of protein onto a silicone base.
This pattern acted as a map on which cells from the heart muscle of a rat were grown.
When set free in a container of seawater, the muscles could be jolted into action with a small electric charge to produce synchronised contractions, allowing Medusoid to swim.
The work, reported in Nature Biotechnology, was carried out to study the pumping action of muscles, which could be used to help design better artificial hearts.