MIT develops a new type of fuel cell for neuroimplants

    Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a silicon-based fuel cell that runs on glucose. The element can have dimensions of several square millimeters, which allows it to be used to power neuroimplants and other microelectronic devices with very low energy consumption.

    The new item has several important advantages. First, for its production, the standard photolithography process is used, which is widely used for the manufacture of silicon microcircuits, and especially high resolutions are not required, equipment more than a decade ago will do. The illustration below shows a photograph of a silicon substrate with elements of different sizes. The side of the largest square is 64 mm.

    Secondly, although glucose fuel cells have been known since the 70s of the last century, before they used biological catalysts. In the new element, platinum is used as a catalyst. Platinum is much more durable and has high biocompatibility.

    Elements can be placed in the cerebrospinal fluid, which is rich in glucose and contains very few living cells. Dozens of neuroimplants can be placed in the spinal canal and fluid-filled cavities of the brain. The life of such devices will be almost unlimited.

    Source - MIT news . Details - PLoS .

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