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Printed Electronics World
Posted on June 27, 2012 by  &  with 1 Comment

Bloody memristors

In progress towards bionic man and woman, human blood has been used to model a biomedical memristor circuit by an Indian university group.
In the study, the researchers, who are also studying diodes and capacitors modeled on, and built of, liquid human tissue, were able to model non-volatile nv memristive behavior for five minutes in both stationary and flowing blood. Printing is likely to be involved in future.
The research group of S.P. Kosta, Y.P. Kosta, Mukta Bhatele, Y.M. Dubey, Avinash Gaur, Shakti Kosta, Jyoti Gupta, Amit Patel, and Bhavin Patel, are also studying diodes and capacitors modeled on, and built of, liquid human tissue. The full paper is published in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics. Bioelectronics is an increasingly popular sector of scientific progress.
An analogy for a memristor is a pipe that expands or shrinks when water flows through it. If water flows through the pipe in one direction, the diameter of the pipe increases, thus enabling the water to flow faster. If water flows through the pipe in the opposite direction, the diameter of the pipe decreases, thus slowing down the flow of water. If the water pressure is turned off, the pipe will retain its most recent diameter until the water is turned back on. Thus, the pipe does not store water like a bucket (or electricity like a capacitor) - it remembers how much water flowed through it.
There is no agreed unit for measurement of the strength of a memristor because they are so new.
The reason that the memristor is radically different from the other fundamental circuit elements is that, unlike them, it carries a memory of its past. When you turn off the voltage to the circuit, the memristor still remembers how much was applied before and for how long. That effect cannot be duplicated by any circuit combination of resistors, capacitors, and inductors, which is why the memristor qualifies as a fundamental circuit element. A lot of transistors (more complex devices) and capacitors in circuit can mimic the action of a tiny memristor but it is uneconomical for them to be used in this way.
Memristors were first made as recently as 2008. They only work near atomic dimensions because they rely on so-called quantum effects. However, a non-stoichiometric layer accidentally or deliberately produced at the surface of an oxide such as titanium dioxide common in paper and paint whitener and flexible printed dye sensitized solar cells.
They may help ease the chronic shortage of options for printing memory. They will also perform other functions in electronic circuits, reducing the number of components needed and therefore cost and probably permitting new types of performance such as progressing towards the stellar performance of the human brain. Memristors can only be made by printing or print-like thin film processes: they are little understood but that does not stop them being sold as a part of the latest integrated circuit chips.
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Posted on: June 27, 2012

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