UIC researchers created an electromechanical device–a humidity sensor–on a bacterial spore. They call it NERD, for Nano-Electro-Robotic Device. The report is online at Scientific Reports, a Nature open access journal.
“We’ve taken a spore from a bacteria, and put graphene quantum dots on its surface–and then attached two electrodes on either side of the spore,” said Vikas Berry, UIC associate professor of chemical engineering and principal investigator on the study.
“This is a fascinating device,” Berry said. “Here we have a biological entity. We’ve made the sensor on the surface of these spores, with the spore a very active complement to this device. The biological complement is actually working towards responding to stimuli and providing information.”