Organic Bioelectronics

Jonpump version 2. Kretsar och droppar på plastlaminat.
An organic electronic ion pump (OEIP). The device uses electrophoretic transport through thin polymer films to deliver ions, neurotransmitters, plant hormones, and other small charged molecules into living tissue.

Communicating across the biology-technology divide.

Principal investigator: Daniel Simon

jonpump 2015 Animals, plants, and all biological systems communicate in a language of ions and molecules. Modern technology, on the other hand, relies on a language of electrons. With organic electronic materials’ unique properties, we develop “bilingual” tools to bridge this gap.

Organic electronic materials possess a combination of both electronic and ionic/molecular conductivity. They have thus emerged as excellent tools for developing hybrid technologies that effectively interface biological systems with modern electronic technology such as computers and mobile phones – thus the field of organic bioelectronics. 

In the Organic Bioelectronics group at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, we investigate this transduction between electronic signals and ionic/molecular signals with self-organising in vivo electrode materials, “iontronic” chemical delivery and circuitry, bacteria-electronic interfaces, biosensors, biomimetic systems, and many other areas.  

We aim to elucidate fundamental processes in biochemistry and physiology, as well as develop tools for next-generation therapies, human-machine interfacing, and blurring the border between living and technological systems.

Body illustration above: Organic bioelectronics for pain therapy in the spinal cord. The ion pump delivers therapeutic neurotransmitters precisely at the location of pain signaling.

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