Redox Electrochemistry to Interrogate and Control Biomolecular Communication

iScience. 2020 Sep 8;23(9):101545. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101545. eCollection 2020 Sep 25.


Cells often communicate by the secretion, transport, and perception of molecules. Information conveyed by molecules is encoded, transmitted, and decoded by cells within the context of the prevailing microenvironments. Conversely, in electronics, transmission reliability and message validation are predictable, robust, and less context dependent. In turn, many transformative advances have resulted by the formal consideration of information transfer. One way to explore this potential for biological systems is to create bio-device interfaces that facilitate bidirectional information transfer between biology and electronics. Redox reactions enable this linkage because reduction and oxidation mediate communication within biology and can be coupled with electronics. By manipulating redox reactions, one is able to combine the programmable features of electronics with the ability to interrogate and modulate biological function. In this review, we examine methods to electrochemically interrogate the various components of molecular communication using redox chemistry and to electronically control cell communication using redox electrogenetics.

Keywords: Bio-Electrochemistry; Bioelectronics; Cell Biology.

Publication types

  • Review