First ever chemical circuit could bring computing inside your body

Your body, in many ways, is a computer. It's not wired with silicon, but relies on chemical pathways to transmit and receive information and instructions. Conventional electronics may not play well with biology, but the invention of the first artificial chemical circuit could be the key to interacting directly with our cells.

A chemical circuit is very similar to an electrical circuit: you've got signals that come in, logical functions are performed, and other signals go out. In an electrical circuit, you've got electrons doing all the signalling, with silicon transistors forming the logic framework inside the circuit itself. A chemical circuit uses charge-carrying molecules instead of electrons for signaling, and the transistors doing all the logic work are made of charged biomolecules.

The really interesting part here is what kinds of things a chemical circuit makes possible inside our bodies. For example, the circuit could be designed to use acetylcholine, a substance that is used to signal muscles to do stuff, potentially taking over for damaged signal pathways between the brain and muscle groups. This is something that we already try to do by using electric pulses to simulate muscles directly, but a chemical circuit could potentially provide for much finer control by routing and dispensing highly complex chemical signal patterns.

AlphaGalileo Foundation, via PopSci

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