Powering Micro-machines Inside the Body
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I was talking with a teenager recently and he already accepts that micromachine implants will be normal in the near future and he's right. We already have them for detecting blood sugar and dispensing insulin. But current devices are simple, without power or many moving parts, so the goal is to make microrobotic systems that can work deep in the body.

To make that possible, we need biosupercapacitors as an energy source. But they've been too large at the size of an unpopped corn kernel. German researchers now have one three thousand times smaller, the size of a pepper grain. A capacitor allows for electrical currents to be smoothed out so that a machine can run without power interruptions.

This biosupercapacitor uses a stack of polymers with materials that can store electric current. These materials are placed on a wafer surface that when high tension is applied, folds up origami-like into a nano-biosupercapacitor. They can provide a voltage equal to a triple-A battery, enough to power most uses within the human body.

Tests show they can continue to store energy in saline, blood or plasma. It kept seventy percent of its charge for sixteen hours in blood. And, it uses the chemical reactions inside cells to recharge. One use could be having a micromachine measure blood pH for the presence of tumors.

Imagine the impact on cancer and the countless diseases that we could tackle with this technology.

For more information…

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