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Engineering Living Hybrid Robots
The combination of biological components and artificial ones emerges into what we called hybrid machines or robots. Hybrid nano-robots convert fuels available in our body to generate propulsion force to swim and will eventually be used in vivo for transporting drugs to target locations in a controlled manner. On a larger scale, we use 3D bioprinting to fabricate cm-scaled hybrid BioRobots based on the combination of hydrogels and cells that contract in synchrony upon external stimuli, alike artificial muscles.
Lightening the brain up with photo-drugs
The human brain is the most complex thing in the known Universe. New light-based technologies are now being developed to explore and manipulate the brain. Today we can literally “see” our thoughts; we can observe neurons firing in real time; we can see nanoscopic proteins dancing inside a synapse while learning. Not only we can “see”, but we can “control” those neurons remotely with flashes of light. Neuroscience is now testing photo-genes to introduce false memories or to erase unwanted ones. Photo-drugs will be soon used to cure neurological diseases, restore vision or manipulate our minds.