Assignment 3 – Biofuel Cell Technology

Biofuel cell technology is another option to power nanotechnology inside the human body. The article below discusses renewable biofuel cells that are glucose-based. Instead of using batteries, an implantable device can extract its source of energy from biofuel cells within the body. The article discusses how biofuel cells can convert the chemical energy of biofuels like glucose into electrical energy through oxidation. This energy could then power devices like pacemakers, insulin pumps, and other technology inside the body. Right now, glucose-based biofuel cells are limited in lifespan and production of power, but further research could make them an ideal substitute to batteries that are currently being used inside the body. Converting glucose into electrical energy to power nanotechnology is another option that our group should consider as it is sustainable source and would be a safer alternative to lithium batteries.


Energy from Human Motion

Assignment 2:

Human movement is another source of energy that can be harvested to power nanotechnology. One article I found discusses the research done at Vanderbilt University to harvest energy from low-frequency human motion (as slow as 0.01 Hertz). Ultrathin layers of black phosphorous nanosheets are being used to extract energy directly from human motion. The materials developed are so thin that they can be easily incorporated into clothing. According to another article, MIT researchers found a new method to harness energy from human movements. They developed a flexible electrochemical battery that begins to bend with human motion. Pressure builds up when the battery bends and an electrical current is made. This current can then be used to power other nanodevices. As we consider how we want to harvest energy to power nanotechnologies inside the body, our group might think about the ways in which humans create energy and how this energy can be transferred for internal use.


Topic Summary and Research Article – Olivia

Paragraph 1: Topic Summary

My group plans to harness biofuels from natural materials like bacteria or human fat in order to find a way to more naturally power biotechnologies within the body. With many new nanotechnological advancements for human health, people need a way to power the technology more naturally. Batteries need replacements and may leak and cause damage within the body, while natural biofuels are a safer and more abundant source of fuel. Through our project we hope to explore the benefits of biofuels both when used in the body and in the environment. People are currently trying to reduce the harmful emissions that humans release into our atmosphere and biofuels could significantly help. Harnessing biofuels from bacteria or even human fat would significantly change the way mankind thinks about safe and renewable energy and would positively affect human health in the growing world of biotechnologies.

Paragraph 2: Research Article

Towards glucose biofuel cells implanted in human body for powering artificial organs: Review

This review discussed alternatives to lithium-ion batteries that are used to power health devices in humans. It discussed implantable biofuel cells and how they can be used to power devices inside the human body. A glucose fuel cell (GFC) produces electrical energy from chemical energy through the oxidation of glucose and reduction of oxygen. One main challenge of implantable glucose fuel cells is that they must be able to fully interact with the human body without harming it since the cells need contact with body fluid in order to function. These cells could allow humans to convert energy within their body for the purposes of powering a medical device. Glucose biofuel cells are an option that my group can discuss in our search for alternatives to batteries used inside the body.