Merging Biology and Solid-State Lighting: Recent Advances in Light-Emitting Diodes Based on Biological Materials

Elisa Fresta, Verónica Fernández-Luna, Pedro B. Coto, Rubén D. Costa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Solid-state lighting (SSL) is one of the biggest achievements of the 20th century. It has completely changed our modern life with respect to general illumination (light-emitting diodes), flat devices and displays (organic light-emitting diodes), and small labeling systems (light-emitting electrochemical cells). Nowadays, it is however mandatory to make a transition toward green, sustainable, and equally performing lighting systems. In this regard, several groups have realized that the actual SSL technologies can easily and efficiently be improved by getting inspiration from how natural systems that manipulate light have been optimized over millennia. In addition, various natural and biocompatible materials with suitable properties for lighting applications have been used to replace expensive and unsustainable components of current lighting devices. Finally, SSL has also started to revolutionize the biomedical field with the achievement of efficient implantable lighting systems. Herein, the-state-of-art of (i) biological materials for lighting devices, (ii) bioinspired concepts for device designs, and (iii) implantable SSL technologies is summarized, highlighting the perspectives of these emerging fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1707011
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 13


  • bioinspired designs
  • biological materials
  • hybrid light-emitting diodes
  • light-emitting diodes
  • light-emitting electrochemical cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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