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Electrical behaviour and evolutionary computation in thin films of bovine brain microtubules

Vissol-Gaudin, Eléonore and Pearson, Chris and Groves, Chris and Zeze, Dagou A. and Cantiello, Horacio F. and Cantero, María del Rocio and Petty, Michael C. (2021) 'Electrical behaviour and evolutionary computation in thin films of bovine brain microtubules.', Scientific reports., 11 . p. 10776.


We report on the electrical behaviour of thin films of bovine brain microtubules (MTs). For samples in both their dried and hydrated states, the measured currents reveal a power law dependence on the applied DC voltage. We attribute this to the injection of space-charge from the metallic electrode(s). The MTs are thought to form a complex electrical network, which can be manipulated with an applied voltage. This feature has been exploited to undertake some experiments on the use of the MT mesh as a medium for computation. We show that it is possible to evolve MT films into binary classifiers following an evolution in materio approach. The accuracy of the system is, on average, similar to that of early carbon nanotube classifiers developed using the same methodology.

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Publisher statement:Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date accepted:12 April 2021
Date deposited:25 May 2021
Date of first online publication:24 May 2021
Date first made open access:25 May 2021

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