Researchers at California Institute of Technology and Harvard University have revealed that they have created an artificial jellyfish by using heart muscle cells of a rat.
Named as a "Medusoid", due to its resemblance to the Greek mythology character Medusa, the jellyfish has been developed by using silicon with heart muscle cells from rats being implanted on the silicon frame and which have developed in a pattern similar to the muscles of a jellyfish.
When electric current is applied through a container filled with conducted liquid, the muscles contract, allowing the creature to move in water in a manner similar to a jellyfish.
The researchers expressed hope that their project could one day advance enough to allow them build artificial hearts. "The jellyfish provides a design algorithm for reverse engineering an organ's function. The jellyfish is really simple, and we're going to do one that's a bit harder, and then a bit harder still, and so on, with our long-term goal to build a heart", one of the study authors, Prof Kevin Kit Parker said.