There are available examples of technology that can convert body heat into electricity. The technology is made to where thermoelectric generators are used to harvesting electricity from body heat. This can be seen as an amazing finding for possibly powering nanotechnology that is small in size and weight, due to the lack in need of batteries and other bulky components. This could possibly be incorporated with a compatible heart rate monitor or blood sugar monitor for patients to easily access. The thermoelectric generators, only 2 millimeters in thickness, generates electricity by using the temperature differential that is found between the air surrounding the body and the body itself. Understanding this, this technology would be difficult to work with for technology that would be implanted within the body, but could be altered to fit the different environment.
Lightweight, Wearable Tech Efficiently Converts Body Heat to Electricity
One source of energy that I came across an article mentioning of a single implanted glucose biofuel cell, or GBFC, that is capable of generating sufficient power from a mammal’s bodily fluids to act as a power source for electronic devices. This type of energy generation would be the most suitable for bio/nanotechnology that would be within the body. One of the most intriguing portions of the report was that the implant didn’t have any signs of rejection or inflammation within the rat after nearly four months of the cell being implanted in the abdominal cavity. The autopsies even showed within the first two to three weeks that a thin layer of vascularized tissue begins to cover the external side of the implant, ensuring how biocompatible it would be. With this in mind, I would also begin to think about how the energy would be stored efficiently and then used appropriately for various technologies? Would the human body have the same reaction to such an implant?
Our group will be following up on biofuel cells, attempting to grasp a deeper understanding of how the original idea of biofuels arose and delving into other cells that could potentially have similar reactions within different environments. Also, studying how the studied process of using chemical fuels towards producing electrical currents through catalytic enzymes could be implemented in the various processes still resulting in the production of electric power and how their efficiencies would change. This could open doors to having biodegradable implants becoming possible to an assortment of applications, including new treatments of medication and numerous others.
There are many researched methods of how these biofuel cells are produced, such as enzyme-based, conversion of organic waste and also microbial-based fuel cells. The one issue that they all seem to have not yet overcome is the process of extracting or utilizing the produced electric power. It is still being studied how to transfer these supply of electrons through electrodes to be stored and then distributed. This is a concept that if learned and understood, could change the whole perception of how critical biofuel cells can be.
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