Saturday, 26 May 2012

Living snail as a source of electricity

Implanted biofuel cell. Photo credit: Clarkson University.
For the first time in history, a living snail has been implanted with a biofuel cell, which is producing electricity for a long period of time!

Implantable biofuel cells have been suggested as sustainable micropower sources operating in living organisms, but such bioelectronic systems are still exotic and very challenging to design.

By feeding and relaxing, the snail generates glucose, which is utilized by the biocatalytic electrodes to generate electricity.

The system can operate in a natural environment and produce sustainable electrical micropower for activating various bioelectronic devices.

This is the first incidence of an implanted biofuel cell continuously operating in a snail and producing electrical power over a long period of time using the snail’s physiologically produced glucose as a fuel.

This feat was accomplished by researchers led by Evgeny Katz, Clarkson University.

Research like this by Katz and other scientists is working toward a goal of creating insect cyborgs, an idea that has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

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