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Scientists create electronic ‘cyborg’ roses

LNM Radio Network

LNM Radio Network

The flowers, which are still very much alive, have tiny electronic circuits threaded through them.
The brainchild of researchers at Linköping University in Sweden, the peculiar cyberplants were created through the introduction of tiny electronic polymers which then self-assemble inside.

It took the team over a decade to get it right – not least because every electronic ingredient they tried to introduce turned out to have a flaw which had a negative effect on the plant.

They eventually succeeded with a variant of the organic polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene).

The researchers believe that this technique could one day make it possible to monitor and control flowers by, for example, telling them to bloom or to release hormones at certain times.

“If we combine the sensors with delivery devices, we could make a neuronal system to record and sense and regulate the physiology of the plant,” said study co-author Magnus Berggren.

Whether such a system will ever find its way in to food crops however remains to be seen.