New Implantable Fuel Cells Can Generate Energy from the Brain
Human brain is a complex machine in of itself. Recently, researchers at MIT have been able to make new tiny implantable fuel cells that can harvest energy from the brain. The glucose present inside the cerebrospinal fluid is present in the brain which can be used to generate several hundred microwatts of power. The glucose is oxidized and is present in an activated platinum anode. The electrons that in the end get away from the glucose are then used to generate electricity. It could be done without any adverse effect to the brain or the body.
The scientists believe that this technology can give way to a different level of reliability and self-efficiency for other implantable brain machines. This would make them independent from an external source of power supply. These prototypes made by the scientists are of one square millimeter and two square millimeters. These fuel cells can work with a consistent supply of fuel and oxygen.
In fact, the scientists believe that they can go on for decades without failing down. Presently, the brain machines are often powered wirelessly through electrical induction. But they have to be surgically replaced after several years. The experiment has been successful but it has not been tested on an actual human brain. Further tests on animals are being prepared to be conducted. If successful, these would be manufactured and marketed. These implanted fuel cells can help deal with blindness, paralysis and other deep brain disorders.