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Physarum polycephalum: Towards a biological controller

Taylor, Benjamin; Adamatzky, Andrew; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

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Benjamin Taylor

Yannis Ieropoulos
Professor in Bioenergy & Director of B-B


© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. 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.


Taylor, B., Adamatzky, A., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2015). Physarum polycephalum: Towards a biological controller. BioSystems, 127, 42-46.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 20, 2016
Journal BioSystems
Print ISSN 0303-2647
Electronic ISSN 1872-8324
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 127
Pages 42-46
Keywords physarum polycephalum, microbial fuel cell
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information 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


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