Can you imagine living roses being turned into electronic circuits? A team of researchers at the Laboratory for Organic Electronics at Linköping University in Sweden has managed to accomplish just that. So yes, world’s first cyborg rose is finally here!
The team, led by Professor Magnus Berggren, sees several possibilities in the project, including the surveillance and regulation of plant growth, and the potential to tap into photosynthesis as a means of generating power. Berggren also said that this bionic rose could pave the way in harvesting energy from plants without having to kill them.
The steps involved:
Firstly, scientists put a synthetic polymer called PEDOT-S into the flower via its stem allowing the plant to draw the polymer up in the same way that it brings up water using its xylem channels.
Then, the polymer turns into a wire that conducts electric signals, letting water and essential nutrients to move around the flower.
Afterwards, researchers can link the “wires” to the electrolytes inside the flower, thus creating an electrochemical transistor and a digital logic gate, one of the main components of computer systems.