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Physarum Sensor: Biosensor for Citizen Scientists


Imperative utilization of biosensors has acquired paramount importance in the field of drug discovery, biomedicine, food safety standards, defense, security, and environmental monitoring. This has led to the invention of precise and powerful analytical tools using biological sensing element as biosensor. PhyChip has demonstrated an effective and practical technology for using the slime mould Physarum polycephalum as a living transducer in mechanical, optical and chemical sensors. The slime mould maps a wide range of volatile chemicals, tactile stimuli and light of various wavelengths into unique combinations of frequency and amplitude of oscillations of extracellular electrical potential. Given an unknown stimulus one can infer about nature of the stimulus from the frequency and amplitude of the electrical potential oscillations. PhySense will transform the “lab based” techniques of the slime mould hybrid sensors into `everyday’ use in a cost effective and user friendly format by designing, manufacturing and selling the bio-sensors to research centres, universities, schools and laymen enthusiasts. In addition to making the technology accessible to both the general public and non-specialists this transformative project will establish an online portal capable of collecting and sharing millions of measurements. Recent work by our group has already developed a working prototype --- based on low cost electronics and bespoke software --- which demonstrate the paradigm shift which this project offers. Citizen participation will be used to leapfrog years of traditional research catapulting Europe in the driving seat of this exciting new scientific frontier of living technologies in sensing and computing.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 99 991,25
Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane
BS16 1QY Bristol
United Kingdom

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South West (England) Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath area Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 99 991,25