Hybrid biomolecular synapses for multifunctional sensing and neuromorphic computing at the edge of biology

Project: Research project

Project Details


The goal of the proposed project is to develop fundamental understanding for a new type of multifunctional neuromorphic interface—a hybrid biomolecular synapse—capable of selective ionic and biochemical sensing, signal processing, learning, and memory in wet, cellular environments. The proposed hybrid device pairs a biomembrane containing stimuli-responsive biomolecules (e.g., transmembrane ion channels or receptors) with a semiconducting polymer. This integration aims to unite the diverse multifunctionality and molecular specificity of biomolecules for chemical sensing, selective transport, and stimuli- responsive signaling with the mixed ionic-electronic (ionotronic) transport in conductive polymers that allow them to operate as conformal electrodes, neuromorphic transistors, and in situ signal amplifiers. We hypothesize that integrating these components will: 1) yield biocompatible devices—including implantable, wearable, and conformal types of devices—that can transduce multiple types of physical stimuli using a biomimetic interface; and 2) enable tunable synapse- and neuron-inspired signal processing and memory functionalities. These advances are necessary to unlock ionotronic-biomolecular hardware for adaptive sensing, learning, and computing in close proximity to and in direct communication with living cells and tissue—at what we call the edge of biology
Effective start/end date9/30/229/29/27


  • University of Tennessee (A23-0483-S001 AMD 1 // FA9550-22-1-0426)
  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (A23-0483-S001 AMD 1 // FA9550-22-1-0426)


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