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Biohybrid robotics: from the nanoscale to the macroscale

Biohybrid robotics: from the nanoscale to the macroscale
Biohybrid robotics: from the nanoscale to the macroscale

Biohybrid robotics is a field in which biological entities are combined with artificial materials in order to obtain improved performance or features that are difficult to mimic with hand-made materials. Three main level of integration can be envisioned depending on the complexity of the biological entity, ranging from the nanoscale to the macroscale. At the nanoscale, enzymes that catalyze biocompatible reactions can be used as power sources for self-propelled nanoparticles of different geometries and compositions, obtaining rather interesting active matter systems that acquire importance in the biomedical field as drug delivery systems. At the microscale, single enzymes are substituted by complete cells, such as bacteria or spermatozoa, whose self-propelling capabilities can be used to transport cargo and can also be used as drug delivery systems, for in vitro fertilization practices or for biofilm removal. Finally, at the macroscale, the combinations of millions of cells forming tissues can be used to power biorobotic devices or bioactuators by using muscle cells. Both cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue have been part of remarkable examples of untethered biorobots that can crawl or swim due to the contractions of the tissue and current developments aim at the integration of several types of tissue to obtain more realistic biomimetic devices, which could lead to the next generation of hybrid robotics. Tethered bioactuators, however, result in excellent candidates for tissue models for drug screening purposes or the study of muscle myopathies due to their three-dimensional architecture. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology.

bacteria-bots, biorobots, enzymatic nanomotors, hybrid robotics, muscle-based biorobots
1-26
Mestre, R
33721a01-ab1a-4f71-8b0e-abef8afc92f3
Patiño, T
07793ff5-0a3a-4c97-bada-7619949d520e
Sánchez, S
488ee06d-7785-46bb-a4d7-f83cbef44d43
Mestre, R
33721a01-ab1a-4f71-8b0e-abef8afc92f3
Patiño, T
07793ff5-0a3a-4c97-bada-7619949d520e
Sánchez, S
488ee06d-7785-46bb-a4d7-f83cbef44d43

Mestre, R, Patiño, T and Sánchez, S (2021) Biohybrid robotics: from the nanoscale to the macroscale. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology, 13 (5), 1-26, [e1703]. (doi:10.1002/wnan.1703).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Biohybrid robotics is a field in which biological entities are combined with artificial materials in order to obtain improved performance or features that are difficult to mimic with hand-made materials. Three main level of integration can be envisioned depending on the complexity of the biological entity, ranging from the nanoscale to the macroscale. At the nanoscale, enzymes that catalyze biocompatible reactions can be used as power sources for self-propelled nanoparticles of different geometries and compositions, obtaining rather interesting active matter systems that acquire importance in the biomedical field as drug delivery systems. At the microscale, single enzymes are substituted by complete cells, such as bacteria or spermatozoa, whose self-propelling capabilities can be used to transport cargo and can also be used as drug delivery systems, for in vitro fertilization practices or for biofilm removal. Finally, at the macroscale, the combinations of millions of cells forming tissues can be used to power biorobotic devices or bioactuators by using muscle cells. Both cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue have been part of remarkable examples of untethered biorobots that can crawl or swim due to the contractions of the tissue and current developments aim at the integration of several types of tissue to obtain more realistic biomimetic devices, which could lead to the next generation of hybrid robotics. Tethered bioactuators, however, result in excellent candidates for tissue models for drug screening purposes or the study of muscle myopathies due to their three-dimensional architecture. This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 January 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 2 February 2021
Published date: September 2021
Keywords: bacteria-bots, biorobots, enzymatic nanomotors, hybrid robotics, muscle-based biorobots

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449008
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449008
PURE UUID: 4a3cd40c-acba-4176-889f-18b4876c5ea0
ORCID for R Mestre: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2460-4234

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 May 2021 16:38
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 02:18

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Contributors

Author: R Mestre ORCID iD
Author: T Patiño
Author: S Sánchez

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