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Towards implementation of cellular automata in Microbial Fuel Cells

Sirakoulis, Georgios Ch; Tsompanas, Michail Antisthenis; Adamatzky, Andrew; Greenman, John; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

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Georgios Ch Sirakoulis


© 2017 Tsompanas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) is a bio-electrochemical transducer converting waste products into electricity using microbial communities. Cellular Automaton (CA) is a uniform array of finite-state machines that update their states in discrete time depending on states of their closest neighbors by the same rule. Arrays of MFCs could, in principle, act as massive-parallel computing devices with local connectivity between elementary processors. We provide a theoretical design of such a parallel processor by implementing CA in MFCs. We have chosen Conway's Game of Life as the benchmark CA because this is the most popular CA which also exhibits an enormously rich spectrum of patterns. Each cell of the Game of Life CA is realized using two MFCs. The MFCs are linked electrically and hydraulically. The model is verified via simulation of an electrical circuit demonstrating equivalent behaviours. The design is a first step towards future implementations of fully autonomous biological computing devices with massive parallelism. The energy independence of such devices counteracts their somewhat slow transitions-compared to silicon circuitry-between the different states during computation.


Sirakoulis, G. C., Tsompanas, M. A., Adamatzky, A., Greenman, J., & Ieropoulos, I. (2017). Towards implementation of cellular automata in Microbial Fuel Cells. PLoS ONE, 12(5), e0177528.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 17, 2016
Publication Date May 1, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2018
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 5
Pages e0177528
Public URL
Publisher URL


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