Menu

Blog

Jun 22, 2022

Building artificial nerve cells

Posted by in categories: biological, chemistry, computing, space

For the first time, researchers have demonstrated an artificial organic neuron, a nerve cell, that can be integrated with a living plant and an artificial organic synapse. Both the neuron and the synapse are made from printed organic electrochemical transistors.

On connecting to the carnivorous Venus flytrap, the electrical pulses from the artificial nerve cell can cause the plant’s leaves to close, although no fly has entered the trap. Organic semiconductors can conduct both electrons and ions, thus helping mimic the ion-based mechanism of pulse (action potential) generation in plants. In this case, the small electric pulse of less than 0.6 V can induce action potentials in the plant, which in turn causes the leaves to close.

“We chose the Venus flytrap so we could clearly show how we can steer the biological system with the artificial organic system and get them to communicate in the same language,” says Simone Fabiano, associate professor and principal investigator in organic nanoelectronics at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linköping University, Campus Norrköping.

Leave a reply