Final rept. 5 Feb 2011-4 Feb 2015
TUFTS UNIV MEDFORD MA
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The project goal was to exploit insect cell culture and tissue engineering approaches to generate biological actuators, utilizing the unique hardiness and longevity of insect cell sources for device applications for robotics. In contrast to mammalian cells and tissues, insect cells survive with minimal assistance over long periods of time and are immune to routine environmental perturbations. The project focused on 3 tasks 1 cell-based actuators and biostability, 2 energy storage and conversion, and 3 tissue engineering. All phases of the project required new methods in order to move forward and significant progress was made on the three tasks. Cell sources from insects were isolated, cultivated, grown to confluence and beating muscle assemblies were generated and demonstrated forces comparable to bioengineered mammalian muscle systems. These systems were grown for at least three months without feeding or special handling. Metabolic studies characterized the carbon fluxes from the cells to provide insight into the role of adipose reserves in supporting cell functions. Studies related to anchoring the actuators and organizing multi-actuator systems, including the use of extracellular matrix components from the caterpillar body wall, were studied for generating functional assemblies. The project was terminated early due to funding constraints.
- Anatomy and Physiology