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Title: Evaluating the Conductive Properties of Melanin-Producing Fungus, Curvularia lunata, after Copper Doping
Authors: Jones, Robert M.
Thurston, Alison K.
Barbato, Robyn A.
Barnes, Eftihia V.
Keywords: Applied mycology
Copper ions
Current-voltage characteristics
Metal binding
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.));no. ERDC TR-20-25
Abstract: Melanins are pigmented biomacromolecules found throughout all domains of life. Of melanins’ many unique properties, their malleable electrically conductive properties and their ability to chelate could allow them to serve as material for bioelectronics. Studies have shown that sheets or pellets of melanin conduct low levels of electricity; however, electrical conductance of melanin within a cellular context has not been thoroughly investigated. In addition, given the chelating properties of melanin, it is possible that introducing traditionally con-ductive metal ions could improve the conductivity. Therefore, this study investigated the conductive properties of melanized cells and how metal ions change these. We measured the con-ductivity of pulverized Curvularia lunata, a melanized filamentous fungi, with and without the addition of copper ions. We then com-pared the conductivity measurements of the fungus to chemically synthesized, commercially bought melanin. Our data showed that the conductivity of the melanized fungal biomass was an order of magnitude higher when grown in the presence of copper. However, it was two orders of magnitude less than that of synthetic melanin. Interestingly, conductance was measurable despite additional constituents in the pellet that may inhibit conductivity. Therefore, these data show promising results for using melanized cells to carry electrical signals.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: ERDC TR-20-25
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Size: 50 pages / 2.57 MB
Types of Materials: PDF/A
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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