Generation upon generation of mankind has sought the fountain of youth with many exploring the planet at great lengths in search of immortality. Most think of this secret formula as concoctions made from plants or exotic creature by a shaman in some remote rain forest village. In the past decade researchers have made great strides in healthcare while exploring everything from stem cells to nano-technology. While some of this research has left us with ethical questions and concerns it finally seems that we are advancing upon the fountain of youth in the form of Bio-Hybrid technology.
Researcher, Dr. William Fissel, has spent his career focusing on the kidney, its functions, and processes. He has recently created a device that would act as a kidney cell, or nephron, and actually be able to filter blood for toxins. This bio-hybrid technology comes in the form of tiny microchips that would replace damaged kidney cells which may replace the need for kidney transplants in the future. One article published by Vanderbilt University quoted Dr. Fissel as stating;
“We can leverage Mother Nature’s 60 million years of research and development and use kidney cells that fortunately for us grow well in the lab dish, and grow them into a bioreactor of living cells that will be the only ‘Santa Claus’ membrane in the world: the only membrane that will know which chemicals have been naughty and which have been nice. Then they can reabsorb the nutrients your body needs and discard the wastes your body desperately wants to get rid of,”
This technology could one day not only replace the need for kidney dialysis but also replace the need for a kidney transplant. This technology has been discovered by scientists trying to mimic nature in technological form. As seen in this </iframe>”>YouTube video, a researcher manipulates a robotic sting ray with pulses of light. This light acts similar to electrical pulses found within our own cells where actions take place on a cellular level by means of a charged stimulus.
Bio-hybrid technology leaves many cringing with thoughts of the movie Frankenstein. However, most are left in awe and inspired by our current ability to repair our bodies and prolong our lives. For these reasons many who hear about bio-hybrid medical advances are sure scientists have discovered the proverbial fountain of youth. The implications go further than thoughts of repairing the human body. As we venture into an age of unprecedented natural damage this technology may also help repair a broken planet.