"Generation of photocurrent was an example to showcase the application aspect of 'designer hybrid architecture.' However, we believe that an array of these bionic mushrooms in series will be able to power up a low-power surface-mounting LED".
This team of researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology comprised of Manu Mannoor, Sudeep Joshi and Ellexis Cook are now working on ways to generate higher currents through this system.
In addition to the cyanobacteria living longer in a state of engineered symbiosis, researchers showed that the amount of electricity these bacteria produce can vary depending on the density and alignment with which they are packed, such that the more densely packed together they are, the more electricity they produce.
A team of scientists has managed to turn funghi into a source of electricity.
He added, "We showed for the first time that a hybrid system can incorporate an artificial collaboration, or engineered symbiosis, between two different microbiological kingdoms", reports Newsweek.
White button mushrooms host a rich microbiota but not cyanobacteria specifically, prompting Mannoor and postdoctoral fellow Sudeep Joshi, to ask if agaricus bisporus could provide the nutrients, moisture, pH and temperature for the cyanobacteria to produce electricity for a longer period. In 2016, researchers at Binghamton University used cyanobacteria to make a bio-solar panel and now researchers in New Jersey have integrated the microbes with nanomaterials and mushrooms to generate electricity. Manoor says this network of nanoribbons is akin to "needles sticking into a single cell to access electrical signals inside it".
They covered a mushroom in 3D printed bacteria and tiny wires, which were capable of capturing electrons that were released by the 'shroom during photosynthesis.
Shining a light on the mushrooms activates cyanobacterial photosynthesis mechanism, which generates bio-electrons these electrons are driven under an applied bias voltage in an electrochemical setup. To take an advantage of these capabilities, they designed a synthetic relationship between microbes and a mushroom that can produce electricity.
In a statement, Mannoor said the study could pave the way for larger opportunities involving bio-electricity. "By seamlessly integrating these microbes with nanomaterials, we could potentially realize many other fantastic designer bio-hybrids for the environment, defense, healthcare and many other fields".