A Method for Growing Bio-memristors from Slime Mold

This article has been accepted and is currently in production

Abstract

Our research is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the electronic properties of organisms in order to engineer novel bioelectronic systems and computing architectures based on biology. This specific paper focuses on harnessing the unicellular slime mold Physarum polycephalum to develop bio-memristors (or biological memristors) and bio-computing devices. The memristor is a resistor that possesses memory. It is the 4th fundamental passive circuit element (the other three are the resistor, the capacitor, and the inductor), which is paving the way for the design of new kinds of computing systems; e.g., computers that might relinquish the distinction between storage and a central processing unit. When applied with an AC voltage, the current vs. voltage characteristic of a memristor is a pinched hysteresis loop. It has been shown that P. polycephalum produces pinched hysteresis loops under AC voltages and displays adaptive behavior that is comparable with the functioning of a memristor. This paper presents the method that we developed for implementing bio-memristors with P. polycephalum and introduces the development of a receptacle to culture the organism, which facilitates its deployment as an electronic circuit component. Our method has proven to decrease growth time, increase component lifespan, and standardize electrical observations.