January 12, 2009

Blood powers implantable fuel cell

Make a tiny fuel cell with the right kind of yeast and you have an implantable power source that runs on blood.

The microbial fuel cell measures 1.7 centimeters on a side and 0.2 centimeters thick and weighs less than half a gram. The device contains the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which converts glucose in blood to electricity. The strain of yeast has a long history in brewing, baking and industry.

The fuel cell could be used to power implanted medical devices.

Research paper:
A Microfabricated PDMS Microbial Fuel Cell
Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, December 2008

Researchers' homepage:
Mu Chiao

Related stories and briefs:
Sugar powers bio battery -- related research

Back to ERN January 12/19, 2009



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