On modulating the Physarum polycephalum plasmodium's electrical resistance, resting membrane potential and capacitance by application of nanoparticles and nanostructures

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Gizzie, N. ; Mayne, R. ; Adamatzky, A. (2016)

Physarum polycephalum is a model organism used in the creation of hybrid artificial-biological devices.\ud Among its demonstrated uses in biocomputing it is able to grow self healing ‘wires’ which can be used to\ud generate circuitry, especially following hybridisation with nano- and micro-scale circuit components. In\ud this study P. polycephalum plasmodia were hybridised with nanomaterials; graphene oxide, carbon\ud nanotubes, calcium phosphate and aluminium oxide. Observations were made on toxicological effects\ud and alterations in electrical properties; mean potential, period, frequency, resistance and capacitance.\ud Macroscopically, there was little evidence of toxic effects on P. polycephalum using any of these nanomaterials.\ud Capacitance was increased substantially and electrical resistance decreased in carbon\ud nanotube-treated plasmodia, with all results for other nanomaterials being lesser in magnitude. Our\ud results demonstrate that carbon nanotubes are a suitable material for biohybridisation in the creation of\ud conductive cellular pathways, whilst influencing their capacitance.
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