Researchers have created a bionic mushroom that one day can help light our homes.
In a new study published in the newspaper Nano Letters On Wednesday, researchers reported how they created a fungus that could produce their own electricity. Research scientist Manu Mannoor, from Stevens Institute of Technology, and colleagues created the electricity producing fungi by integrating cyanobacteria that can produce electricity with nanoscale materials that can gather the current.
Like plants, cyanobacteria, bacteria with blue-green color, they can create their own energy through photosynthesis. The researchers said that the microbes are known in the bioengineering society that can create electricity. Unfortunately, the cyanobacteria do not last long because the artificial surfaces used to host them can not keep the bacteria blooming for a long time. In the new study, researchers reported that they found fungal properties that make the bacteria survive longer when they produce electricity.
Mannoor and colleagues used a 3D printer to create two types of electronic ink patterns. One contains the bacteria and the other contains the graph nanoribbons to collect the current. These patterns were then placed on the lid of the sponge. Mannoor explained USA today that the integrated microbes and fungus in such a way that the cyanobacteria produced energy through photosynthesis while the fungus provides it with adequate protection to do so.
Mannoor said that this protection contains moisture and other biophysiological conditions that are appropriate to help the bacteria to thrive longer. The sponge's head also gives plenty of sunlight.
Researchers shine on the fungus to stimulate photosynthesis in the bacteria and start the photocurrent. The fungus could produce a current of approximately 65 nanoAmps. This may not be strong enough to drive a device, but the researchers said that with several of these fungi, you could build up enough electrical power to turn on an LED.
According to a statement from the Stevens Institute of Technology, work can pave the way for a non-traditional way of combating climate change. The researchers also believe that the cyanobacteria have the potential to drive other applications. "With this work, we can imagine huge potential for next-generation biohybrid applications," said Mannoor. "For example, some bacteria may glow while others know about toxins or produce fuel. By seamlessly integrating these nanomaterial microbes, we may possibly see many other amazing designer biohybrids for environment, defense, care and many other areas."