Biological machines have evolved over millions of years and they have merged different functions ranging from actuation to sensing and powering. Although many artificial machines combining novel materials in a bio-inspired design have been proposed and are now commonly used, the exploitation of biological components in artificial machines is still limited to a few case studies. Currently, traditional actuation and sensing solutions are not adequate for building machines at different scales (including micron scales), for developing implanted organs, or for developing a controllable motion. By leveraging the performance of living cells and tissues and directly interfacing them with artificial components, it is possible to exploit the typical metabolic efficiency of biological functions within artificial machines and provide novel opportunities for addressing the challenges of biocompatibility.
In recognition of the importance of this growing field, the APL Bioengineering editorial team has identified a need for a collection of papers to highlight the current and future capabilities of biohybrid machines and components over a wide range of topics, from basic research to translation into practice.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
- Model of biological actuators
- Model of biological sensors
- Engineered living muscles
- Engineered living sensors
- Engineered energy scavenging system
- DNA-based machines
- Tissue engineering technology for biohybrid systems
- Materials and methods for interfacing biological and artificial components
- Control of bio-hybrid artefacts at different scales
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna
University of Tokyo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology