Biohybrid robotics combines engineered artificial structures and living bio-systems.
Beating cells from a rat (ventricular cardiomyocytes) were first placed on poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) thin films in 2007 by Whitesides and Parker. This work defined a biohybrid soft robotic device as a hybrid device which has a soft body and where the actuation is performed by a living biological part. Soft biohybrid robots go beyond replication of nature, but seek to fulfill tasks that neither nature nor physical robots can achieve.
Professors Anne Staubitz and Christine Selhuber-Unkel at University of Bremen and University of Kiel proposed a taxonomic scheme for the concept of “living materials” used in biohybrid soft robotics. Their taxonomy builds on the taxonomy scheme put forth by Webster-Wood.