Robot with brain made from human cells

 

Chinese scientists have developed a robot with a brain grown from human stem cells.

According to SCMP, researchers from Tianjin University and Southern University of Science and Technology of China have connected brain tissue to a neural interface, allowing control signals to be transmitted to the body of a humanoid robot.

Specifically, scientists have combined brain tissue derived from human stem cells with a neural interface chip. With this artificial brain, robots can be taught to avoid obstacles and grasp objects.

Robot with brain made from human cells - 1

According to Tianjin University, this is the world's first complex intelligent information interaction system on a brain chip and has the potential to lead to the development of brain computing. In other words, this research could lead to the development of hybrid intelligence between humans and robots.

Organoids are formed from human pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to divide and develop into many different cell types, such as brain tissue.

In addition to teaching a robot to avoid obstacles or grasp objects, scientists hope that the artificial brain could be used to repair the human brain through implants.

“Transplanting human brain organoids into living brains is a novel method to promote organ growth and function in the human body,” according to the research report published by SCMP. “The transplanted organs are endowed with a functional host-derived vasculature and exhibit advanced maturation.”

Robot with brain made from human cells - 2

However, this research is still in its early stages and there are still many unknowns. For example, scientists are still unclear about whether damaged brain tissue can be repaired or regenerated using these types of implants.

In 2023, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania introduced human neurons into the brains of mice with damaged visual cortexes, causing some of the affected brain regions to become alive again and respond to external stimuli such as light.

In the latest report, researchers from Tianjin University treated these organoids with low-intensity ultrasound, in an attempt to find a way to integrate the transplanted organs into the human brain without rejection. They found that the ultrasound enhanced the differentiation of the organoid cells into neurons, thereby improving the networks they formed with the host brain.

Now, the use of ultrasound could help bridge the gap between implanted organs and computer interfaces, marking a step toward a future where lab-grown brain tissue could help restore functions in the human brain.

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