Biomaterials for Sensors, Fuel Cells, and Circuitry

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Science  20 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5602, pp. 2407-2408
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5602.2407

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Bioelectronics is a rapidly progressing interdisciplinary research field that aims to integrate biomolecules and electronic elements into functional systems (1,2). Biomolecules offer unique building blocks for such devices. The ability to control the shape and structure of biomolecules, such as proteins and DNA, and the evolution-optimized chemical functions of biomaterials including binding, catalysis, ion-pumping and self-assembly, make biomolecules attractive building blocks for functional devices. Hybrid systems formed by the integration of biomolecules with electronic elements, such as electrodes, or transistors enable the electronic read-out detection of biomolecular functions, the transformation of biocatalyzed processes into electrical power, and the templating of nanosized circuitry. Future applications of bioelectronic systems may include computation devices and prosthetic units. This article covers many aspects of the new field of bioelectronics.