Researchers manage to cultivate electronics inside plants!
How plants grow is a very complex mechanism which researchers have just begun to understand. The complexities in network of cells and channels that pass water and other nutrients from root to the leaves. In a startling finding by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden, the pants can grow conductive wires to provide communication and power systems for electronics. Leading this research is Professor Magnus Berggren who along with his team have managed to augment plant’s functionality and making them grow electrical circuits courtesy a special conductive polymer known as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene).
The team put a rose plant in solution filled with water and polymer also called as PEDOT. As the plant’s defense mechanism kicked-in, the polymer spread inside the plant and formed long chains of conductive molecule. These conductive wires can thereafter be used to transmit data. This data can be in the form of information that can be displayed on the leaves of the augmented plant. One example could be display of plant’s health in real-time on a monochromatic screen.
Other than that the research could have many other applications which could be used to create complex electronic networks which are based on how nature evolves with time. Or in the future we could be accustomed to plants which will be used as electronic forests for transfer of data. Perhaps, a good reason to escalate forestation and save plants. For now the research is a major success and the researchers are hoping to improve it further.