Mediated electrochemistry for redox-based biological targeting: entangling sensing and actuation for maximizing information transfer

Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2021 Oct;71:137-144. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2021.07.017. Epub 2021 Aug 5.


Biology and electronics are both expert at receiving, analyzing, and responding to information, yet they use entirely different information processing paradigms. Biology processes information using networks that are intrinsically molecular while electronics process information through circuits that control the flow of electrons. There is great interest in coupling the molecular logic of biology with the electronic logic of technology, and we suggest that redox (reduction-oxidation) is a uniquely suited modality for interfacing biology with electronics. Specifically, redox is a native biological modality and is accessible to electronics through electrodes. We summarize recent advances in mediated electrochemistry to direct information transfer into biological systems intentionally altering function, exposing it for more advanced interpretation, which can dramatically expand the biotechnological toolbox.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes
  • Electronics*
  • Electrons*
  • Oxidation-Reduction