Monitoring of wet micro biological robots successfully developed

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have recently combined spores produced by fungi with graphene quantum dots to create a tiny biological robot. The device is expected to be used in environmental monitoring, food safety and other fields.

"This is a fascinating device. You can say that it is a sensor. It can also be said to be a robotic robot that resembles a robot." The related papers are published in the "Science Report" journal under the Nature Publishing Group. .

With the development of nanotechnology, it has become possible to create a miniature robot that is invisible to the naked eye. Combining living organisms with inanimate machines has also become an alternative solution to the problem. The newly developed device consists mainly of spores and graphene quantum dots. The researchers first extracted spores from the bacteria, placed the graphene quantum dots on the surface of the spores, and then attached electrodes on both sides of the spores. In this way, when the humidity around the spores drops, the spores will shrink and the water will be pressed out. As the spores shrink and become smaller, the quantum dots on both sides will be close together, and the conductivity of the electrodes will also change immediately, thereby achieving the purpose of monitoring the humidity. Researchers call this device the Nano Electron Device (NERD).

The research author's first author and associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Vikas Berry, said: "At the moment of change in humidity, we can immediately get a clear and accurate feedback. This reaction rate is faster than the current state-of-the-art artificial water absorption. Sensors made of polymers are up to 10 times faster, and compared with artificial sensors, these biosensors have even better sensitivity at extremely low pressures and extremely low humidity."

The physicist organization network reported recently that the sensitivity of current common humidity sensors gradually increases with the increase of humidity, and the sensitivity of NERD is more sensitive in the case of low humidity. This sensor can adapt to various environments, even vacuum, which has important application prospects in the field of antisepsis or food quality monitoring. For sensors operating in space, these sensors are also very important because changes in humidity at these locations are an important signal of leakage.

Berry said: "The sensor has a wide range of application prospects. Such research provides a new perspective for people to explore the integration of organisms with electronic and mechanical devices."

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