Pressure Sensor Built By Self-Assembling Bacteria
October 10, 2017
The definition of biotechnology is using living things to create useful tools. This work by researchers at Duke University have turned bacteria into the builders of useful devices by programming them with a synthetic gene circuit.
As the bacteria grows into the shape of half of a sphere, researchers supply gold nanoparticles. The nanoparticles form a golden shell around the bacteria. The result is a something that can be used as a pressure sensor to light a LED.
"In this experiment we're primarily focused on the pressure sensors, but the number of directions this could be taken in is vast," said Will (Yangxiaolu) Cao, a postdoctoral associate in You's laboratory and first author of the paper. "We could use biologically responsive materials to create living circuits. Or if we could keep the bacteria alive, you could imagine making materials that could heal themselves and respond to environmental changes."
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