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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Biohybrid plants with electronic roots via in vivo polymerization of conjugated oligomers

Parker, Daniela; Daguerre, Yohann; Dufil, Gwennael; Mantione, Daniele; Solano, Eduardo; Cloutet, Eric; Hadziioannou, Georges; Nasholm, Torgny; Berggren, Magnus; Pavlopoulou, Eleni; Stavrinidou, Eleni


Plant processes, ranging from photosynthesis through production of biomaterials to environmental sensing and adaptation, can be used in technology via integration of functional materials and devices. Previously, plants with integrated organic electronic devices and circuits distributed in their vascular tissue and organs have been demonstrated. To circumvent biological barriers, and thereby access the internal tissue, plant cuttings were used, which resulted in biohybrids with limited lifetime and use. Here, we report intact plants with electronic functionality that continue to grow and develop enabling plant-biohybrid systems that fully maintain their biological processes. The biocatalytic machinery of the plant cell wall was leveraged to seamlessly integrate conductors with mixed ionic-electronic conductivity along the root system of the plants. Cell wall peroxidases catalyzed ETE-S polymerization while the plant tissue served as the template, organizing the polymer in a favorable manner. The conductivity of the resulting p(ETE-S) roots reached the order of 10 S cm(-1) and remained stable over the course of 4 weeks while the roots continued to grow. The p(ETE-S) roots were used to build supercapacitors that outperform previous plant-biohybrid charge storage demonstrations. Plants were not affected by the electronic functionalization but adapted to this new hybrid state by developing a more complex root system. Biohybrid plants with electronic roots pave the way for autonomous systems with potential applications in energy, sensing and robotics.

Published in

Materials Horizons
2021, volume: 8, number: 12, pages: 3295-3305

Authors' information

Parker, Daniela
Linkoping University
Daguerre, Yohann
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
Dufil, Gwennael
Linkoping University
Mantione, Daniele
Universite de Bordeaux
Solano, Eduardo
ALBA Synchrotron Light Source
Cloutet, Eric
Universite de Bordeaux
Hadziioannou, Georges
Universite de Bordeaux
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology and Management
Berggren, Magnus
Linkoping University
Pavlopoulou, Eleni
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
Stavrinidou, Eleni
Linköping University
Stavrinidou, Eleni
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

UKÄ Subject classification

Bio Materials
Biocatalysis and Enzyme Technology

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