Edible Batteries


Advances in medicine have resulted in a myriad of microscopic technologies–from pancreatic cancer diagnosing nanotubes to glucose sensing contact lenses. There are also devices that are implanted into the body but require battery changes, meaning an additional surgery. In an effort to avoid the second surgery, researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University materials scientist Christopher Bettinger have found a way to deliver safe amounts of electricity to these devices in the form of an edible, dissolvable battery. Made from a pigment found in the ink of a cuttlefish, these batteries can discharge 10 microamperes of electricity for a period of five hours, with an ideal performance of 24 hours, as long as something ingested is likely to remain in the body.  The hope is to eliminate the need to replace implant batteries, and create a cost-effective and non-intrusive option for patients.

(Source: MIT Technology Review)

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