Endolith, Extremophilic Organisms from Volcanic Rock: Biochip Precursors

Robert E. Baier, Anne E. Meyer, Robert L. Forsberg



Extremophilic microbes, Pseudomonas syzgii, from the ultrapure water of computer circuit fabrication facilities, crystallize semiconductor matter around themselves while remaining biologically active in a novel form of biochips. The search for extremophilic organisms with similar abilities was extended to volcanic rock from “wellness” water filters. A volcanic rock material called Taicho stone was identified as harboring subterranean Sphingomonas species known to selectively destroy monoaromatic pollutants. They are also water-flow re-activated and productive of substantial exopolymeric substances related to the claimed multiple health-related benefits of its filtered water. Attempts to convert these Sphingomonas sp. from the stone host to germanium oxide crystalline host began with the filtered water aggressively corroding germanium substrata, as with Pseudomonas syzgii. Although semiconductors have not yet stably incorporated these biota, their roles in accelerating superficial biocorrosion suggests their additional utility as non-abrasive biochemical/ mechanical polishing aids. Recognizing that extraterrestrial exobiology has posited numerous similar microbes occluded in minerals, the possibilities for functional organism-based biochip fabrication are diverse when successful semiconductor incorporation and communication are achieved. The results suggest that the best sources for organism-based biochip production will be from endolithic media.


biochips, oxide electronics, germanium, extremophiles, electron acceptors, biocorrosion.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18103/ibr.v1i2.1465


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