April 16, 2003
A new “perpetual motion”?
Implantable medical devices – from various sensors to an artificial heart – become a common practice. However, the use of such devices is hampered by the absence of a reliable and lasting storage battery. For instance, a cardiostimulator should be extracted from the body once every few months for replacing the accumulator battery.
Researchers of the Texas University in Austin have developed a “biobattery” –
a miniature device that produces electric energy owing to the glucose oxidation reaction that occurs in the body. This means that the new energy source works just like any other organ of a human body –
by using biochemical reactions.
For the time being, the power produced by this source is comparatively low –
only about 1.0 microwatts –
and is comparable to that of a watch battery. But further development of this principle of operation looks very promising. There is nothing that would limit the durability of the “biobattery” in principle and medical devices energized by the “biobattery” do not require recharge.
This is the example of proper use of resources.