Artificial Action Potential and Ionic Power Device Inspired by Ion Channels and Excitable Cell

Jung Soo Kim, Jongwoon Kim, Jinchul Ahn, Seok Chung, Chang Soo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In vivo, the membrane potential of the excitable cell working by ion gradients plays a significant role in bioelectricity generation and nervous system operation. Conventional bioinspired power systems generally have adopted ion gradients, but overlook the functions of ion channels and Donnan effect to generate efficient ion flow in the cell. Here, cell-inspired ionic power device implementing the Donnan effect using multi-ions and monovalent ion exchange membranes as artificial ion channels is realized. Different ion-rich electrolytes on either side of the selective membrane generate the ion gradient potentials with high ionic currents and reduce the osmotic imbalance of the membrane. Based on this device, the artificial neuronal signaling is presented by the mechanical switching system of the ion selectivity like mechanosensitive ion channels in a sensory neuron. Compared with reverse electrodialysis, which requires a low concentration, a high-power device with ten times the current and 8.5 times the power density is fabricated. This device activates grown muscle cells by increasing power through serial connection like an electric eel, and shows the possibility of an ion-based artificial nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2301037
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program (2021R1A2B5B03001811) and STEAM program (2022M3C1A3081178) through the National Research Foundation, funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • Donnan effect
  • action potential
  • excitable cell
  • ion channel
  • monovalent ion selectivity
  • neuron
  • power source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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