About the BioSMART Center

BioSMART envisions society’s need for producing fully autonomous, self-aware, and resilient, intelligent chemical sensor systems by learning from nature. Biological cells must be able to communicate with their surroundings by measuring information, sensing their inner and environmental states, and performing actions. The Center pioneers the fundamental understanding of the chemical nature of the signaling mechanisms in aneural cognitive architectures. A powerful team of chemists, engineers, computer scientists and interdisciplinary teams of biologists and theoreticians are uncovering the molecular basis of memory and decision-making, giving rise to intelligent behaviors in organisms without neurons.

The design and development of intelligent chemical sensors relies on the idea that biological systems, without exception, are SMART sensors. Their behavior is the result of a complex web of interactions between sensory inputs and physiological processes that implements cognitive functions allowing the organism to perform better than random.Transformative opportunity in analytical sensing lies in the mechanistic understanding of how living cells both secrete and sense a wide variety of chemical signals and act as the interface with the external world leading to intelligent behaviors. The ability to understand how biological system responds to internal and external signals could inspire the design of novel robotic sensors and molecular computers. The BioSMART Center bridges the fields of chemistry and sensors, biological science, and environmental health. The wide range of intelligent sensor systems that can become commercial realities through advances pioneered by BioSMART will benefit society in antibiotic resistance monitoring, environmental analysis, wireless sensor networks, robotic sensors, bioremediation, and point-of-use 'smart' systems.