Web Zap*Germs Archive

October 31, 2005

Scientists Build Bacteria-based "Cellborg" Sensor

Ravi Saraf, a University of Nebraska chemical engineer, and a group of researchers have built the first "bionic" device. Placing live Bacillus cereus microbes on a silicon chip and then coating them with a thin layer of gold particles, Saraf's group created a "dielectric barrier" that senses and communicates changes in humidity as the bacteria expand and contract.

If scientists could coat bacteria with gold nanoparticles without killing them, it might be possible to make cellborg sensors that could power an electronic circuit instead of just completing one, Saraf told


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