Making circuits in flowers

Botanical collision electron technology

Generally speaking, botany and electronic computer technology are two separate fields, but now a new technology combines the two, allowing plants to interact with electronic technology. Researchers at the University of Sweden have successfully used rose flowers to create a plant circuit by injecting conductive polymers into the stems of the rose. This research opened the technological door for plant circuits.

Living tissues can often conduct electricity, and plants are no exception. The energy cells of plants convert the energy absorbed by photosynthesis into biological energy, which can play an important role in conducting electric current, but it also needs the intervention of other substances to achieve higher conductivity.

Mysterious material PEDOT

The research team worked hard to find a suitable bioconductor material. This material needs to have water solubility and the ability to conduct electricity from the plant stem to the wire. Researchers conducted experiments with many materials and found that most of the materials are toxic to plants and can block the stems and tubes of plants and affect their survival. After countless experiments, they finally found a suitable and non-toxic material PEDOT. This is a conductive polymer that can transmit electricity without affecting the delivery of plant nutrients.

The research team immersed the rose flower stems in a polymer liquid. After a few days, the polymer molecules filled the rose flower stems like bio-glue. Peel off the outer skin of the stem, and you can see that dark wooden threads appear inside the flower stems. These wooden threads act like semiconductor transistors. The emergence of transistors once brought an extraordinary revolution to electronic technology. From it, electronic components such as integrated circuits and microprocessors that were later widely used have become an indispensable and important part of the development of computer technology. Perhaps in the future, we can use this wooden thread structure in plants to combine to build effective plant circuits and even biological computer systems.

The future of plant circuits

The research team hopes to develop a plant circuit that can sense and record changes in plant hormone levels in the future, and through this circuit system, the physiological characteristics of plants can be developed in the direction required by humans, and they can be controlled in plants like transgenic technology. Technology plays an important role. For example, designing a kind of plant electronic circuit, exerting influence on trees, shortening their growth period, and quickly becoming timber, this will be of great benefit to the paper industry.

The charm of this technology is that it will open the door to a strange new world. People have always used rigid mechanical components to build and upgrade technology. In the future, perhaps we can use living plants to design electronic circuits with certain functions. Our children may have the opportunity to watch the plants in the yard grow into magical computers.