New Transistor Interfaces Directly With Biological Functions

This transistor based on biocompatible maleic-chitosan nanofibers could be used to connect a device directly with biological processes that involve protons. Unlike typical transistor, this device uses protons instead of electrons.


(Biocompatible maleic-chitosan nanofibers)

In the body, protons activate “on” and “off” switches and are key players in biological energy transfer. They open and close channels in the cell membrane to pump things in and out of the cell (proton pumps in the stomach lining that turn on acid for example). The body also uses these protons to flex muscles and transmit brain signals. If a machine could sense proton currents, it could sense biological signals directly, and if it could generate proton currents, it could even control certain functions directly.

“We found a biomaterial, chitosan, that is very good at conducting protons, and allows the potential to interface with living systems,” said Marco Rolandi, a UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering. The UW scientists incorporated chitosan in a prototype field-effect transistor (includes a gate, drain, and source terminal for the current). This is the first such device to use protons, they say. It measures about 5 microns wide, roughly a twentieth the width of a human hair, small enough to be implanted. The UW device uses a modified form of chitosan (maleic-chitosan), which is created from chitin, the structural element in the exoskeleton of crustaceans (such as crabs and shrimp). The material is compatible with living things, is easily manufactured, and can be recycled from crab shells and squid pen discarded by the food industry. The researchers discovered that this form of chitosan works remarkably well at moving protons.

If this research proceeds and is successful, the implants that will enhance your health and well-being will communicate directly with your body, and not simply be devices that mechanically aid body processes.

From Kurzweil AI.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/19/2011)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.' - A. Reynolds and S. Baxter, 2016.

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.' - Hal Clement, 1950.

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.'

Yes, But Do Astrobees Have Lasers For Lightsaber Training?
'... Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.'

'Young Razorbacks Before Their Katanas Grow In'
'Twin robotic arms with gleaming three-foot sword blades unfolded from the forward hydraulic assemblies...'

A New Way To Run Into Things
'He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.'

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'

Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.