Researchers have created a bionic mushroom that could someday ease our homes.
In a new study published in the journal Nano Letters researchers have reported on Wednesday that they have created a bionic mushroom that can produce their own electrical energy.
Researcher Manu Mannoor from Stevens Institute of Technology and colleagues created mushrooms that produce electricity by integrating cyanobacteria capable of producing electricity with nano-powered materials that can accumulate electricity.
Like plants, cyanobacteria, bacteria with blue-green color, can create their own energy through photosynthesis.
Researchers have said that microorganisms are known in the biomedical community as capable of generating electricity. Unfortunately, cyanobacteria do not last long, because the artificial surfaces used for their household can not keep bacteria that last for a long time.
In a new study, researchers reported that they found properties within fungi that allow bacteria to survive longer while generating electricity.
Mannoor and his colleagues use a 3D printer to create two types of electronic ink samples. One contains bacteria and the other contains graphene nanometers for collecting electricity. These patterns are then placed on the mushroom cap.
Explain Mannoor USA today that microorganisms and fungi have been integrated in a way that cyanobacteria produces energy by photosynthesis while fungus provides a suitable shelter for it.
Mannoor said that this shelter has moisture and other biophysical conditions that are suitable for bacteria to progress longer. Geometry of the fungus head also provides enough sunlight.
Researchers need to put light on the mushroom to trigger photosynthesis in bacteria and start a photo virus.
The fungus could produce a current of about 65 nanoAmps. It may not be strong enough to power the device, but researchers have said that using some of these mushrooms can bring enough electricity to turn on the LED.
According to the Stevens Technology Institute statement, work could open the way for an unconventional way of fighting climate change. Researchers also believe that cyanobacteria retain the potential to stimulate other applications.
"With this work we can imagine enormous opportunities for next-generation bio-hybrid applications," said Mannoor.
"For example, some bacteria may shine, while others feel toxins or fuel products. By integrating these nanomaterials with microbes, we could realize many other stunning design bakeries for the environment, defense, healthcare and many other areas."