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September 20, 2010

Scientists Test Body-Powered Fuel Cell

A fuel cell battery that could potentially be powered by natural body processes has been developed by scientists from the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France. The implantable glucose biofuel cell draws power from the sugar and oxygen in body fluids. In an 11-day test i

By cms admin

A fuel cell battery that could potentially be powered by natural body processes has been developed by scientists from the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France.

The implantable glucose biofuel cell draws power from the sugar and oxygen in body fluids.

In an 11-day test in a rat, the implant produced about two microwatts of power for hours at a time without any noticeable harmful side effects.

The study also showed that the rat’s body accepted the biofuel cell, as there was a coating of tissue with newly grown blood vessels found around it.

The device features two graphite discs which contain special enzymes and are connected by a platinum wire.

Oxygen and glucose react with the enzymes, creating a current that passes along the platinum wire and exits the fuel cell through tubed wires.

The study co-author Serge Cosnier, however, said the implant could malfunction and consume too much of the body’s glucose, leading to hypoglycemia.

The researchers said invention could lead to artificial organs and better medical implants that feature long-lasting power.

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