Physarum polycephalum: Towards a biological controller

Taylor, B., Adamatzky, A., Greenman, J. and Ieropoulos, I. (2015) Physarum polycephalum: Towards a biological controller. BioSystems, 127. pp. 42-46. ISSN 0303-2647 Available from:

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Microbial fuels cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical transducers that generate energy from the metabolism of electro-active microorganisms. The organism Physarum polycephalum is a slime mould, which has demonstrated many novel and interesting properties in the field of unconventional computation, such as route mapping between nutrient sources, maze solving and nutrient balancing. It is a motile, photosensitive and oxygen-consuming organism, and is known to be symbiotic with some, and antagonistic with other microbial species. In the context of artificial life, the slime mould would provide a biological mechanism (along with the microbial community) for controlling the performance and behaviour of artificial systems (MFCs, robots). In the experiments it was found that P. polycephalum did not generate significant amounts of power when inoculated in the anode. However, when P. polycephalum was introduced in the cathode of MFCs, a statistically significant difference in power output was observed.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in BioSystems. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in BioSystems, [127, (January 2015)] DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2014.10.005
Uncontrolled Keywords:physarum polycephalum, microbial fuel cell
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics
ID Code:24653
Deposited By: Dr B. Taylor
Deposited On:12 Jan 2015 12:31
Last Modified:04 Nov 2017 09:25

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