Harvard Learned to Grow Small Cybernetic Organs

In world science, a new term "cyborganoid" may appear - this is how, for brevity, journalists have dubbed new artificial living structures with electronic components embedded in them. They are created at the intersection of nanoelectronics and cell engineering, and are intended for in-depth modeling of real living organs. The term itself is formed from two words "organoid" and "cyborg" - living tissue and electronic components here are parts of one whole.

From time immemorial, there has been a problem in medicine: how to observe living organs without damaging them? Most of the instruments are too large, or there is simply no physical space inside the tissues to accommodate even miniature sensors. One of the solutions was the technology of growing organelles - simplified and, as a rule, reduced copies of real organs, created by germinating target cells on an artificial scaffold. A mini-heart can be grown from the heart tissue, from the lung tissue - a kind of lungs.

Now scientists have moved on and, already at the stage of forming the architecture of the organoid, they are introducing flexible grids with nanoelectric sensors into it. They can be stretched, twisted, or deformed in any way, but the connections between the components are preserved and continue to route signals. Such a grid is placed between the layers of stem cells before they begin to grow, so that as the three-dimensional structure of the organoid is formed, the growing tissue itself stretches the sensors in different directions. The result is a living structure permeated with electronic sensors - a cyberorganoid.

Such a deep level of integration of sensors into tissues will allow studying their activity at a qualitatively different level and without the risk of damaging fragile flesh. Scientists will be able to observe in real time the growth of cells and tissues, their reaction to new drugs, the dynamics of all ongoing processes. Cyborgization, in theory, is subject to any type of organelle - you can equip a copy of the liver, brain, pancreas, etc. with sensors.