Biological approaches to electrical conduction in non-metallic materials for engineered products

Allan P. Wandall, Torben A. Lenau*, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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The use of electricity is so pervasive that life without it is unimaginable today. The scope of electricity is even widening to encompass wearables and draperies in domestic and professional surroundings. The typical way of conducting electricity is through metallic wires and conduits, which often are integrated permanently into engineered products. This means that we have more and more products with mixed materials that are difficult to recycle, thereby creating a major bottleneck towards the achievement of sustainable urban and rural environments. If electricity could be conducted in another way, new design options would become possible. The bioworld offers ways for conducting electricity without metallic interconnects. Examples range from electric discharges by electric eels to electrolocation by fish to bacterial protein networks that conduct electrons. A review of electrical conduction mechanisms in the bioworld suugests the feasibility of incorporating the underlying bioworld principles in engineered products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication XII
EditorsRaúl J. Martín-Palma, Mato Knez, Akhlesh Lakhtakia
Number of pages16
PublisherSPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2022
Article number120410B
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation - Hilton Long Beach Hotel, Long Beach, United States
Duration: 6 Mar 202210 Mar 2022


ConferenceSPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation
LocationHilton Long Beach Hotel
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLong Beach
SeriesProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


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