A miniature robot, or "biobot," developed by bioengineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign uses rat cardiac cells bound to a hydrogel polymer to generate forward motion. "We think this work moves synthetic biology and bioengineering forward. Instead of re-engineering DNA or a single bacterial cell, our goal is to put different types of mammalian cells together, see which behaviors emerge and use those behaviors to accomplish tasks," explains bioengineer Rashid Bashir.

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