Battery Power Technology Inside Our Bodies
This is something that Even ?Tony Stark? could not have imagined ? Edible Batteries!
Putting devices or gadgets inside our bodies is nothing new. We have been probing and implanting stuff with various electronic gizmos that it has been a staple of Hollywood movies (and not even the sci-fi kind anymore).
The greatest problem that we have on this kind of technology is how to power these devices once they are inside. The usual norm is having a power cable or cord that connects to an external source or to have a battery that has a limited life span.
A group of researchers from Carnegie Mello University have come up with a brilliant idea and actually created a solution for this dilemma ? ingestible batteries that provide a power source inside our bodies.
The timing could not have been any better as more and more wearable technology products are coming to surface. This trend has resulted in the increasing demand for devices and gadgets that even get more ?closer to home? ? electronics inside our bodies.
And what are these devices?
Recent media reports have featured devices like TruTag, an electronic tag on the nanoscale size that is swallowed and helps detect fraud in the pharmaceutical industry. And more devices are being reported as the days go by. Which is why a power source to keep these biodegradable devices that are ingested running is what these researchers, led by Christopher Bettinger and Jay Whitacre, professors of the University are creating.
Bettinger and Whitacre, who are with Carnegie Mellon Universities’ materials science engineering and biomedical engineering departments, embarked on this invention in order to support the use of biodegradable electronic tools that provide a number of benefits in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. An example of this is for devices that administer drugs on a timed schedule as well as devices that track the internal condition of a patient.
What these two professors have created is by no means like the batteries on our iPhones and tablets. What they have come up with is a ?non-toxic sodium ion? battery that is made from organic materials, specifically, ink from the cuttlefish.
What makes this invention even more terrific is the affordability and availability of these organic ingestible batteries. Since the ink from the cuttlefish is readily available and inexpensive, the resulting batteries can be produced at a low cost.
The research team also reveals that these battery devices are so sterile that it does not need any sterilization before it is swallowed. The batteries are encased like a pill and the casing is biodegradable and dissolves inside the body.
Bettinger envisions that those who have these internal medical devices can take these battery ?pills? once a day so that they can keep their devices all powered up and functioning.
Can you think of other devices that can be powered by these battery pills?
Photo Source: www.cmu.edu