Growing tissue grafts on humanoid robots: A future strategy in regenerative medicine?

Over the past decade, exciting progress has been made in the development of humanoid robots. The significant potential future value of humanoids includes applications ranging from personal assistance to medicine and space exploration. In particular, musculoskeletal humanoids (such as Kenshiro and Eccerobot) were developed to interact with humans in a safer and more natural way. They aim to closely replicate the detailed anatomy of the human musculoskeletal system including muscles, tendons, and bones.


With their structures activated by artificial muscles, musculoskeletal humanoids have the ability to mimic more accurately the multiple degrees of freedom and the normal range offorces observed in human joints. As a result, it is not surprising that they offer new opportunities in science and medicine. Here, we suggest that musculoskeletal robots may assist inthe growth of musculoskeletal tissue grafts for tissue transplant applications.In aging populations, musculoskeletal tissue disorders and injuries are a growing health, social, and economic burden. Pain and lack of mobility are common problems due to failure of tissues, such as tendon, ligament, bone, and cartilage. A promising repair strategy is to engineer tissue grafts. Tissue engineering is enabled by the development of bioreactor systems, which control the environmental conditions necessary for maintaining living cells and tissues outside the body. They also provide chemical and mechanical stimulations that promote the differentiation of particular cell phenotypes within the tissue construct. However, to create functional tissue grafts, more advanced bioreactors are needed. In particular, current bioreactors provide stimuli that fail to mimic the real mechanical environment for cells, and this hinders or prevents the fabrication of clinically relevant grafts For more reading, refer to article.


Sunday 05 March 2017