Enzyme computer could live in human body
Feb 25, 2006, 10:00
Israeli researchers have invented a molecular computer that uses enzymes to perform calculations and could eventually be implanted into the human body and monitor the release of drugs.
Itamar Willner, who built the computer with colleagues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, said the enzyme-powered computers could have significant pharmaceutical and biomedical applications and could, in the future, be implanted into humans.
The researchers used two enzymes, glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) and horseradish peroxidase (HRP), to trigger two interconnected chemical reactions, the online edition of New Scientist reported.
According to the report, enzymes are already widely used to assist calculations.
Molecular computers have the potential to surpass the speed and power of existing silicon computers because they can perform many calculations simultaneously and pack a vast number of components into a tiny space.
Willner said his computer would eventually be incorporated into bio-sensing equipment to help with intelligent drug delivery according to the needs of the patient.
"This is basically a computer that could be integrated with the human body," Willner said. "We feel you could implant an enzyme computer into the body and use it to calculate an entire metabolic pathway."
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