Self-assembled insect muscle bioactuators with long term function under a range of environmental conditions
The use of mammalian muscles as device actuators is severely limited by their sensitivity to environmental conditions and short lifetime. To overcome these limitations insect muscle stem cells were used to generate organized 3D muscle constructs with significant enhancements in environmental tolerance and long term function. These tissues self-assembled, self-repaired, survived for months in culture without media replenishment and produced stresses of up to 2 kPa, all under ambient conditions. The muscle tissues continued to function for days even under biologically extreme temperature and pH. Furthermore, the dimensions and geometry of these tissues can be easily scaled to MEMS or meso-scale devices. The versatility, environmental hardiness and long term function provide a new path forward for biological actuators for device needs.