Reaping Energy From The Brain Via Implantable Fuel Cell

Reaping Energy From The Brain Via Implantable Fuel Cell

By Shinji Tutoru

MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, MASSACHUSETTS, USA. An absolutely innovative implantable fuel cell that uses glucose within the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain that can generate hundred micro watts of power. This can pave the way for the new generation of bionic implants that has no adverse effects to the human body.

Rahul Sarpeshkar and colleagues are hoping to find a new way of self-efficiency and reliability when it comes to implantable brain-machine interfaces that usually depend on external power sources. The fuel cell works by oxidizing glucose that is present in the cerebrospinal fluid on the surface of an activated platinum anode. The oxygen is converted into the water at the cathode end of the cell where the single-walled carbon nanotubes are rooted. What is being used to generate electricity are the electrons stripped from the glucose.

The prototypes of the implantable fuel cell come in 1 square mm and 2 square mm. As of the moment, 2 computer chip-shaped fuel cells were tested in a saline solution that effectively simulated the cerebrospinal fluid.

Typical brain-machine interfaces are usually powered through disposable batteries that require surgical replacements after several years or wirelessly via electrical induction. In this regard, the implantable fuel cell can operate endlessly as long as there is a ceaseless supply of oxygen and fuel. This simply means that it can function and operate for a number of decades.

Invention Implantable Fuel Cell
Organization Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts, USA.
Researcher Rahul Sarpeshkar and colleagues
Field(s) Bioelectronics, Fuel Cell, Bionic Implant, Biocompatibility, Brain Implant
Further Information Gizmag

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