MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Organic Electronics at the Interface with Biology

Róisín M. Owens and George G. Malliaras

Abstract

The emergence of organic electronics represents one of the most dramatic technological developments of the past two decades. Perhaps the most important frontier of this field involves the interface with biology. The “soft” nature of organics offers better mechanical compatibility with tissue than traditional electronic materials, while their natural compatibility with mechanically flexible substrates suits the nonplanar form factors often required for implants. More importantly, the ability of organics to conduct ions in addition to electrons and holes opens up a new communication channel with biology. In this article, we consider a few examples that illustrate the coupling between organic electronics and biology and highlight new directions of research.

Róisín Owens can be reached at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint Etienne, 880 route de Mimet, 13541 Gardanne, France; tel. 33–4–42–61–66–45; and e-mail owens@emse.fr.

Owens is an assistant professor at the Department of Bioelectronics at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence, France. She received her BA degree in biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and her PhD degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Southampton University, UK. Owens completed a postdoctoral fellowship studying Mycobacterium tuberculosis at Cornell University, followed by an appointment at a small biotechnology company. She then returned to Cornell as a research associate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, where she engineered proteins for rhinovirus therapeutics. Owens also has a wide range of expertise in biochemistry and cell biology.

George Malliaras can be reached at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint Etienne, 880 route de Mimet, 13541 Gardanne, France; tel. 33–4–42–61–66–44; and e-mail malliaras@emse.fr.

Malliaras is head of the Department of Bioelectronics at the Centre Microélectronique de Provence, France. He received a BS degree in physics from Aristotle University, Greece, and a PhD degree in mathematics and physical sciences from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Malliaras has been a faculty member in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University and served as director of the Cornell Nanoscale Facility. He also serves as the chair of the editorial board for the Journal of Materials Chemistry.

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