Scientists create 'bionic mushroom' that can power an LED bulb

Scientists create 'bionic mushroom' that can power an LED bulb

Scientists create 'bionic mushroom' that can power an LED bulb

He added that even though their bionic mushroom introduces a new, clean way of producing energy to generate electricity, there is still a lot of work to be done before it will be able to compete with fossil fuels.

"In this case, our system - this bionic mushroom - produces electricity", said Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stevens. This cyanobacteria creates electricity while graphene nanoribbons pull together the current.

It is noted that scientists have long tried to adapt electric bacteria for energy.

The entire project started thanks to the researchers' love of mushrooms.

"As we discussed them we realized they have a rich microbiota of their own, so we thought why not use the mushrooms as a support for the cyanobacteria".

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From fields to sauteeing pans, button mushrooms are incredibly common.

What do you get when you 3-D print cyanobacteria onto button mushrooms? But among bioengineers, cyanobacteria have a much better reputation, as they're known for its ability to generate electricity.

The scientists used 3D printing to attach clusters of energy-producing bugs to the cap of a button mushroom.

Cyanobacteria is a popular study topic in bioengineering circles. Then the scientist Sudeep Joshi suggested that the environment for the bacteria to become mushrooms. "We showed for the first time that a hybrid system can incorporate an artificial collaboration, or engineered symbiosis, between two different microbiological kingdoms".

"Our 3D-printing approach could be used to organize other bacterial species in complex arrangements to perform useful functions, such as bioluminescence", said the researchers, reports.

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Their study published in Nano Letters, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Chemical Society, found properties within the mushroom allowed the cyanobacteria to survive longer while generating electricity. Imagine needles sticking into a single cell to access electrical signals inside it, explains Mannoor.

Using a special bio-ink, the team printed the bacteria on the cap of the mushroom in a spiral pattern. At the places where the cyanobacteria connected with the graphene, the electron transfer would take place.

Shining a light on the mushrooms activates cyanobacterial photosynthesis mechanism, which generates bio-electrons these electrons are driven under an applied bias voltage in an electrochemical setup.

The work could one day help grow a non-traditional way to combat global climate change.

"Generation of photocurrent was an example to showcase the application aspect of 'designer hybrid architecture.' However, we believe that an array of these bionic mushrooms in series will be able to power up a low-power surface-mounting LED".

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