From Event: SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics, 2015
The melanins are a broad class of pigmentary macromolecules found through nature that perform a wide range of functions including photo-protection . The most common melanin – the brown, black pigment eumelanin, has been much studied because of its role in melanoma and also for its functional material properties . Synthetic eumelanin has been shown to be photoconductive in the solid state and also possess a water content dependent dark conductivity . It is now well established that these electrical properties arise from hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour, leading to the proposition that melanins could be model biocompatible systems for ion-to-electron transduction in bioelectronics.
In my talk, I will discuss the basic science behind these bioelectronics properties – electrical and optical. In this context I will also describe recent electron paramagnetic spin studies which isolate the role of the various chemical moieties responsible for the hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour. I will also highlight preliminary results on prototype melanin-based bioelectronics devices and discuss possible architectures to realise elements such as solid-state switches and transducers.
 “The physical and chemical properties of eumelanin”, P. Meredith and T. Sarna, Pigment Cell Research, 19(6), pp572-594 (2006).
 “Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices inspired by nature”, P Meredith, C.J. Bettinger, M. Irimia-Vladu, A.B. Mostert and P.E. Schwenn, Reports on Progress in Physics, 76, 034501 (2013).
 “Is melanin a semiconductor: humidity induced self doping and the electrical conductivity of a biopolymer”, A.B. Mostert, B.J. Powell, F.L. Pratt, G.R. Hanson, T. Sarna, I.R. Gentle and P. Meredith, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109(23), 8943-8947 (2012).
Paul Meredith, Margarita Sheliakina, and Bernard Mostert, "Melanin: spin behaviour and implications for bioelectronic devices (Presentation Recording)," Proc. SPIE 9568, Organic Field-Effect Transistors XIV; and Organic Sensors and Bioelectronics VIII, 95681P (Presented at SPIE Organic Photonics + Electronics: August 09, 2015; Published: 5 October 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2191024.4519372070001.
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