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Creating a bio-hybrid signal transduction pathway: opening a new channel of communication between cells and machines

Lookup NU author(s): Orr Yarkoni, Dr Lynn Donlon, Dr Daniel Frankel


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Manipulation of signal transduction pathways presents a viable mechanism to interface cells with electronics. In this work, we present a two-step signal transduction pathway involving cellular and electronic transduction elements. In order to circumvent many of the conventional difficulties encountered when harnessing chemical signalling for the purpose of electronics communication, gaseous nitric oxide (NO) was selected as the signalling molecule. By genetic engineering of the nitric oxide synthase protein eNOS and insertion of light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) domains, we have created a photoactive version of the protein. The novel chimeric eNOS was found to be capable of producing NO in response to excitation by visible light. By coupling these mutant cells to a surface modified platinum electrode, it was possible to convert an optical signal into a chemical one, followed by subsequent conversion of the chemical signal into an electrical output.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yarkoni O, Donlon L, Frankel D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

Year: 2012

Volume: 7

Issue: 4

Print publication date: 15/11/2012

ISSN (print): 1748-3182

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/7/4/046017


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