Proton-based transistor could let machines communicate with living things

On the right is a colored photo of the University of Washington device overlaid on a graphic of the other components. On the right is a magnified image of the chitosan fibers. The white scale bar is 200 nanometers. Credit: University of Washington

Human devices, from light bulbs to iPods, send information using electrons. Human bodies and all other living things, on the other hand, send signals and perform work using ions or protons. Materials scientists at the University of Washington have built a novel transistor that uses protons, creating a key piece for devices that can communicate directly with living things. The study is published online this week in the interdisciplinary journal Nature Communications.

Devices that connect with the human body’s processes are being explored for biological sensing or for prosthetics, but they typically communicate using electrons, which are negatively charged particles, rather than protons, which are positively charged hydrogen atoms, or ions, which are atoms with positive or negative charge.

“So there’s always this issue, a challenge, at the interface – how does an electronic signal translate into an ionic signal, or vice versa?” said lead author Marco Rolandi, a UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering. “We found a biomaterial that is very good at conducting protons, and allows the potential to interface with living systems.”

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One Response to Proton-based transistor could let machines communicate with living things

  1. Paul Felix Schott says:

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    ELECTRIC HYBRID VEHICLES & ELECTRIC VEHICLES SOON TO OUT SELL ALL OTHERS

    Energy has driven the world for over a thousand years Wind, Hydro and Solar are the oldest forms of energy giving power to all smart enough to use it.

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    Fuel that makes energy to ship goods, or make electric for homes and manufacturing. Can transform whole nations into prosperity and wealth or poverty and economic hardships for most all. Just as taxes on taxpayers has done. For over two thousand years. Making slaves of many to the wicked and unjust few. History Lesson Roman Empire, Persian Empire now OIL Empire oh sorry OPEC.

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    Free Energy From the SUN in the heavens above.
    We still do not teach this to our young.

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    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    Now to own a car that will never rust way and runs on the power from the sun that’s the one for me. Very soon most all on earth will be able to get energy by recharging from the sun and wind.

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    GOD Bless You Professor Takashi Ohira and your team for the good work they are doing. To promote Clean Cities with Clean Transportation that will let some drive all day without having to stop to recharge. As Neil Armstrong would say one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Just one step closer to the World being powered be the Sun Solar Energy.

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