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Xenobots: Robots developed from stem cells of frogs

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Xenobot

Mains level : Biomedicines and their applications

Researchers have developed robots from stem cells of frogs called Xenobots.

Xenobots, the name itself suggests its peculiarity.

Xenobots

  • Xenobots, named after the African clawed frog are synthetic organisms that are automatically designed by computers to perform some desired function and built by combining together different biological tissues.
  • They are less than a 1 millimeter (0.039 inches) wide and composed of just two things: skin cells and heart muscle cells, both of which are derived from stem cells harvested from early (blastula stage) frog embryos.
  • They can self-heal after damage, record memories and work together in groups.
  • These biological robots can record information about their surroundings and move using cilia – minute hair like particles present on their surface.

Its applications

  • These soft-body living machines can have several applications in biomedicine and the environment.
  • They could be made from a human patient’s own cells, which would bypass the immune response challenges of other kinds of micro-robotic delivery systems.
  • Such xenobots could potentially be used to scrape plaque from arteries and with additional cell types and bioengineering, locate and treat disease.
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