Researchers created “bionic” mushrooms by 3D printing cyanobacteria contained in hydrogel (bio-ink) directly onto button mushroom caps in a spiral pattern. The bionic mushroom enabled the cyanobacteria to produce 65 nanoAmps through photosynthesis. The researchers say a group of mushrooms could create enough current to light up an LED and shows the potential for future versions. The team has successfully demonstrated a working method toward clean and green energy.
The team says they are working on ways to generate higher currents across complex arrangements of bacterial species and perhaps expanding to use other varieties of “useful” bacteria that exhibit unique properties such as bioluminescence and virulence. “We showed for the first time that a hybrid system can incorporate an artificial collaboration, or engineered symbiosis, between two different microbiological kingdoms,” said an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. The work could one day help grow a non-traditional way to combat global climate change. The cyanobacteria could play a massive role in powering other applications as a green solution.