Imagine electronics made from living things. That’s the vision of molecular electronics, an area of research that aims to create circuits using biological materials. One promising idea is the development of a “biocomputer” that could be grown using photosynthetic reaction centres (PRCs) from living plants. These tiny devices can detect state changes when exposed to light, making them ideal for use in electronics.
In 2001, German researchers successfully grew a network of neurons from a snail onto a silicon chip. The neuron net was designed to allow electricity to flow through it and out again, leading to the development of a new type of biocomputer. With more research, molecular electronics could transform the way we think about computing and even pave the way for bioengineered devices that are fully integrated with living organisms.
What is molecular electronics?
Molecular electronics is an area of research that aims to create circuits using biological materials, such as photosynthetic reaction centres (PRCs) and neurons.
What is a biocomputer?
A biocomputer is a computer that is made from biological materials and operates using biological processes, such as photosynthesis and neural networks.
What are the potential applications of molecular electronics?
Molecular electronics could pave the way for bioengineered devices that are fully integrated with living organisms, and could transform the way we think about computing and electronics.
Molecular electronics offers a fascinating glimpse into the future of computing and electronics. As researchers continue to explore the potential of biologically derived materials, we may soon see a new generation of devices that are fully integrated with living organisms. This could have profound implications for fields such as medicine, computing, and biotechnology, and raises new questions about the limits of what we can achieve through advances in science and technology.