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Chemical logic flips electric switch

  January 5/12, 2009
Come up with the right electrode and you can make biochemical changes in the body trigger an electronic signal.

The pH-sensitive electrode registers changes in acidity produced by enzymes that carry out the chemical equivalent of simple computer logic. The enzyme logic processes four chemical inputs including glucose and oxygen, and, depending on which inputs are present, produces gluconic acid or nothing. The acid increases the acidity of the liquid around the electrode, which triggers the electrode.

The bioelectronic interface could be used to diagnose and treat diseases. The device would signal the presence of substances that indicate disease, then automatically release drugs.

Research paper:
Switchable Electrode Controlled by Enzyme Logic Network System: Approaching Physiologically Regulated Bioelectronics
Journal of the American Chemical Society, published online December 29, 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Nanoengineering and Biotechnology Laboratories Center, Clarkson University

Related stories and briefs:
Biochemical logic drives microscopic shape shifters -- precursor research
Cell logic -- related research
Protein logic digitizes cells -- related research

Back to TRN January 5/12, 2009

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