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'Living' circuits cure diseases on cellular level

02 Dec 2014  | R. Colin Johnson

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So far, most of the research group's circuits have been designed to sense something, using either yeast cells (in the illustration above) or bacteria cells. "Bacteria cells are much easier to work with because they don't have a nucleus to deal with."

Adding a load driver capability is the group's latest innovation that could make the dream come true. Load drivers provide a buffer between the signal source and the signal being transmitted, preventing the effects of the signal from being delayed and causing unpredictable effects.

Deepak Mishra, an MIT doctoral candidate in biological engineering, contributed to the research, with assistance from Phillip Rivera, a master's student in mechanical engineering, and Allen Lin, a master's student in electrical engineering and computer science.

Funding was supplied by an Eni-MIT Energy Research Fellowship, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army Research Office, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Institutes of Health.


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