Research Topic

Application of Electrochemical and Photoelectrochemical Processes of Organic Devices in Biotechnology

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Electrochemical processes are at the base of the physiology of every plant and animal cell. These ubiquitous chemical reactions are at the core of all vital phenomena including but not limited to photosynthesis, cell respiration, metabolism, energy production, environmental monitoring and signal transduction. ...

Electrochemical processes are at the base of the physiology of every plant and animal cell. These ubiquitous chemical reactions are at the core of all vital phenomena including but not limited to photosynthesis, cell respiration, metabolism, energy production, environmental monitoring and signal transduction. The overarching goal of bioelectronics is to develop systems which can first passively observe biological activity but ultimately will actively trigger desired biological processes. In recent years, organic semiconductors have been proposed as highly promising materials for several biotechnology applications such as bio-imaging, sensing, drug delivery and cell activity modulation. Besides the excellent biocompatibility, the most distinctive features of organic semiconductors is the ability to print low cost device elements coupled with the ability to sustain electrochemical and photoelectrochemical processes within the living cell environments and even promote biological activity. Diverse organic devices suitable for in vivo chronic use have been reported, including organic electrochemical transistors, photo-faradaic actuators for cell stimulation, artificial sensing devices for health monitoring and tissue engineering.

Despite intensive characterization of organic materials and proof of concept devices for biotechnology applications, a clear picture of the electrochemical and photo-electrochemical phenomena occurring at the complex interface between the synthetic materials, the aqueous environment and the biological component(s) is still lacking. A detailed understanding of these interrelated phenomena will guide novel device architectures and improve (opto)-electronic device performances, boosting the application of the organic semiconductor technology in clinical use, as well as to uncover many other potential applications.

This Research Topic aims at covering the aforementioned knowledge gap by providing the interested readers with an updated look on the most innovative approaches, under a highly multidisciplinary perspective. Both original research papers and mini-reviews will be considered. The interest will be focused on both organic materials and devices, also including hybrid organic/inorganic structures. Studies on both animal and vegetal models will be of interest. Interested topics comprise, but are not limited to:
- Theoretical modeling of electrochemical and photo-electrochemical processes at hybrid biopolymer interfaces
- Novel experimental tools for photoelectrochemistry in aqueous environment
- Synthesis of novel organic semiconductors for tailored applications in (photo)bioelectrochemistry
- Artificial photosynthesis based on organic semiconductors
- Experimental characterization of electrochemical interfacial phenomena at the bio-hybrid interface.
- Novel (photo)-electrochemical organic devices for cell signaling transduction, sensing and modulation
- Applications of organic devices in regenerative medicine, cell-based therapies and tissue engineering
- Technological integration of electrochemical and photo-electrochemical devices based on organic and hybrid organic/inorganic materials


Keywords: electrochemistry, organic semiconductor, redox, photochemical reactions, biotechnology


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