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Towards a slime Mould-FPGA interface

Mayne, Richard; Tsompanas, Michail Antisthenis; Sirakoulis, Georgios Ch; Adamatzky, Andrew

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Richard Mayne
Lecturer in Maths Supporting Science

Georgios Ch Sirakoulis


© 2015, Korean Society of Medical and Biological Engineering and Springer. Purpose: The plasmodium of slime mouldPhysarum polycephalum: is a multinucleate single celled organism which behaves as a living amorphous unconventional computing substrate. As an excitable, memristive cell that typically assumes a branching or stellate morphology, slime mould is a unique model organism that shares many key properties of mammalian neurons. There are numerous studies that reveal the computing abilities of the plasmodium realized by the formation of tubular networks connecting points of interest. Recent research demonstrating typical responses in electrical behaviour of the plasmodium to certain chemical and physical stimuli has generated interest in creating an interface between.P. polycephalum: and digital logic, with the aim to perform computational tasks with the resulting device.Methods: Through a range of laboratory experiments, wemeasure plasmodial membrane potential via a non-invasive method and use this signal to interface the organism with a digital system.Results: This digital system was demonstrated to perform predefined basic arithmetic operations and is implemented in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). These basic arithmetic operations, i.e. counting, addition, multiplying, use data that were derived by digital recognition of membrane potential oscillation and are used here to make basic hybrid biologicalartificial sensing devices.Conclusions: We present here a low-cost, energy efficient and highly adaptable platform for developing next-generation machine-organism interfaces. These results are therefore applicable to a wide range of biological/medical and computing/electronics fields.


Mayne, R., Tsompanas, M. A., Sirakoulis, G. C., & Adamatzky, A. (2015). Towards a slime Mould-FPGA interface. Biomedical Engineering Letters, 5(1), 51-57.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 5, 2015
Publication Date Mar 1, 2015
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Apr 12, 2016
Journal Biomedical Engineering Letters
Print ISSN 2093-9868
Electronic ISSN 2093-985X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 1
Pages 51-57
Keywords physarum polycephalum, digital electronics, machine-organism interface, unconventional computing
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via


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