Potential applications include sending signals to muscle synapses with a malfunctioning signalling system, says Magnus Berggren, professor of organic electronics at the university. Berggren is also the director of the OBOE Center, a research center focusing on organic bioelectronics.
From the abstract in Nature Communications:
Here we report integrated chemical logic gates based on ion bipolar junction transistors. Inverters and NAND gates of both npn type and complementary type are demonstrated. We find that complementary ion gates have higher gain and lower power consumption, as compared with the single transistor-type gates, which imitates the advantages of complementary logics found in conventional electronics. Ion inverters and NAND gates lay the groundwork for further development of solid-state chemical delivery circuits.
Tybrandt and Berggren began to develop ion transistors three years ago that can control and transport ions and charged biomolecules. That research was published in 2010 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in an article titled “Ion bipolar junction transistors.” A later study titled “Toward Complementary Ionic Circuits: The npn Ion Bipolar Junction Transistor” was published last year in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, which reported the promise of “complementary chemical circuits similar to the electronic equivalence.”
Abstract in Nature Communications: Logic gates based on ion transistors