Researchers from Columbia University in New York have combined biological and solid-state components to create a new artificial biosystem. They used a biological cell to power a conventional solid-state CMOS integrated circuit. It consisted of an artificial lipid bilayer membrane with adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-powered ion pumps. In the presence of ATP, the system pumps ions across the membrane, producing an electrical potential that is harvested by the integrated circuit. The prototype system was a macroscale version of the system, at the scale of several millimeters, and now the researchers are looking to scale the system down. As a next step, the researchers would like to integrate biological functions into electronics such as recognizing specific molecules and the potential to taste and smell.
Source: Columbia University