Towards a bioelectronic computer: A theoretical study of a multi-layer biomolecular computing system that can process electronic inputs

Research output: Working paperPreprint


DNA molecular machines have great potential for use in computing systems. Since Adleman originally introduced the concept of DNA computing through his use of DNA strands to solve a Hamiltonian path problem, a range of DNA-based computing elements have been developed, including logic gates, neural networks, finite state machines (FSMs) and non-deterministic universal Turing machines. It has also been established that DNA molecular machines can be controlled using electrical signals and that the state of DNA nanodevices can be measured using an electrochemical readout. However, to the best of our knowledge there has as yet been no demonstration of a fully integrated biomolecular computing system that has multiple levels of information processing capacity, can accept electronic inputs and is capable of independent operation. In this paper we address the question of how such a system could work. We present simulation results showing that such an integrated hybrid system could convert electrical impulses into biomolecular signals, perform logical operations and take a decision, storing its history. We also illustrate theoretically how such a system could potentially be used to perform a task such as controlling an autonomous robot navigating through a maze.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherbioRxiv, at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018

Cite this