Posting in Energy
This is the first time a device has been implanted into an animal to produce electricity.
Researchers may be on the verge of figuring out a way to power pacemakers with energy sources from a person's own body.
Keeping pacemakers and other implanted medical devices running can be difficult, since batteries can be costly and wasteful. Ideally, you’d want the medical device to run naturally inside the body.
Scientists have successfully tested out a biofuel cell that is fueled by the body's blood sugar and oxygen -- a resource abundant in human bodies.
To test this new system, the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble, France researchers implanted the biofuel cell into a rat.
Researchers looked at wires that ran out of the rat's neck to look for signs of energy production. After 11 days scientists discovered that the fuel cell was producing a decent amount of energy without noticeable side effects.
This is the first time a biofuel cell has worked from the inside of a living animal.
This type of device is expected to be the next generation of medical devices like pacemakers and artificial organs. For example, diabetics would benefit by having an implanted biosensor that can measure glucose levels and control the release of insulin inside the body.
The researchers still have some issues to work out. For instance, if the device misbehaves, then you risk consuming too much of the person’s glucose.
And the power it generates now isn’t enough for some devices. Since it can only make two microwatts of power for a few hours, this wouldn’t be enough to make a pacemaker run.
Photo: asplosh/ flickr
Related on SmartPlanet:
Sep 19, 2010
For larger devices, just get a group of friends together, hold hands and recharge away. This could solve the energy crisis and end wars as we all would rely on each other to keep our iPods going.
"but where would the wire to plug in to the cell phone on their belt come out of the body?" Come on ronangel! Use your imagination.... I know where the wire could come out & I think you do aswell but cant say here... but a clue would be might cause unwanted leakage of body fluids. --------------------------------------------- 2. The power could be inductively coupled to the cellphone, like the charger for an electric toothbrush. Google: "Inductive charger toothbrush" or Wikipedia "Inductive charging" I already pointed this out with the charging of batteries but the conversion loss from dc to ac used in inductive (transformer) type of charging would be too high.
1.If it's a hydrogen fuel cell, the waste is pure water. Perhaps the waste that these fuel cells produce is just as innocuous. 2. The power could be inductively coupled to the cellphone, like the charger for an electric toothbrush. Google: "Inductive charger toothbrush" or Wikipedia "Inductive charging"
I believe Microsoft have a patent based upon any device powered by the internal energy of the human body. It is amazing the ones that can do this may not have the competitive advantage over the futurist.
I'm concerned about the waste created by the fuel cell. What happens to that? And the more power you generate, the more waste you create. They can't just dump it inside the body. I'm no medical professional but I seriously doubt this idea will ever fly.
"but where would the wire to plug in to the cell phone on their belt come out of the body?" Come on ronangel! Use your imagination....
Quote:? they can re-charge their cell phone's at the same time." This sounds ok in theory but where would the wire to plug in to the cell phone on their belt come out of the body?... (A mobile phone takes hundreds of times more than a pacemaker so feed would have to be direct) On a more serious note maybe the units could be configured in a series parallel mode, charging a battery which acting as a buffer would be able to power the pacemaker. A better arrangement as I think is or could be used is to charge up battery via a transformer like arrangement where one coil is above skin & the other below, It not possible to have wire through skin without many complications
Actually sounds bad - but considering that one type of Diabetes produces excess glucose, why not utilize it - it should make them more healthy - no more pills and they can re-charge their cell phone's at the same time.