Living electronics: A catalogue of engineered living electronic components

Joshua T. Atkinson, Marko S. Chavez, Christina M. Niman, Mohamed Y. El-Naggar

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Biology leverages a range of electrical phenomena to extract and store energy, control molecular reactions and enable multicellular communication. Microbes, in particular, have evolved genetically encoded machinery enabling them to utilize the abundant redox-active molecules and minerals available on Earth, which in turn drive global-scale biogeochemical cycles. Recently, the microbial machinery enabling these redox reactions have been leveraged for interfacing cells and biomolecules with electrical circuits for biotechnological applications. Synthetic biology is allowing for the use of these machinery as components of engineered living materials with tuneable electrical properties. Herein, we review the state of such living electronic components including wires, capacitors, transistors, diodes, optoelectronic components, spin filters, sensors, logic processors, bioactuators, information storage media and methods for assembling these components into living electronic circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-533
Number of pages27
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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