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Researchers create “bionic sponges” that generate electricity

Power outage is so yesterday. Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey have created a "bionic sponge" that…

Power outage is so yesterday. Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey have created a “bionic sponge” that can produce electricity. According to a recent release of the peer-reviewed journal, Nano Letters, researchers turned a typical white-button sponge into a bionic by uploading it with 3D-printed cyanobacteria clusters that produce electricity and the graph nanoribbon swirls that collect the current.

During its experiment, the fungus was exposed to lysis activated cyanobacterial photosynthesis in the bacteria and produced photocurrents, which were then captured as generated electricity. “In this case, our system – this bionic sponge – produces electricity. By integrating cyanobacteria that can produce electricity, with nanoscale materials that can gather the power, we could better access the unique features of both, increase them and create a whole New Functional Bionic System, “says Manu Mannoor, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens.

The 3D-printed cyanobacterial lymph nodes produce electricity

According to geek.com Mannoor, together with his colleague Sudeep Joshi, tested the fungi to see if they could produce the right nutrients, moisture, pH levels, and temperature for cyanobacteria to produce electricity for longer periods. The two researchers 3D printed the cyanobacteria on the mushroom lid with an “electronic ink” containing the nanoribbons graph in a spiral pattern. They noticed that the amount of electricity produced varies depending on how closely the cyanobacteria are packed together.

“With this work, we can imagine huge potential for next generation biohybrid applications. For example, some bacteria may glow, while others know about toxins or produce fuel,” added Mannoor. “By the smooth integration of these microbes with nanomaterials, we can potentially realize many other amazing designer biohybrids for environment, defense, care and many other areas.” At the moment, the fungi are enough to drive an LED light but nothing more.


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