Fuel Cells Fueled by You

Scientists have developed a glucose-powered fuel cell that can be implanted into the human body and create power using nothing more than elements present within the person.

By using compressed graphite treated with an enzyme that oxidizes glucose, the developers were able to make the fuel cell create energy.  They also utilize a plastic membrane that only allows glucose and oxygen to pass and wire up the entire device with platinum wiring.  Like a mad scientist’s lab recipe, they created the first fuel cell that gets everything it needs to operate from inside the living organism.

Currently the device produces 6.5 microwatts of power which, while small, is just shy of the 10 microwatts needed to power a pacemaker.  The developers are confident that they can work on the design and boost power to reach that mark. 

Aside from pacemakers, this device may be able to be used in the future for insulin pumps and possibly artificial hearts, making this fuel cell an incredibly important device with far-reaching implications as it is improved to produce more power.

To read the original article, please go to http://www.fastcompany.com/node/1649666/print

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