Polypyrrole RVC biofuel cells for powering medical implants

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS, 2017, pp. 779 - 782
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© 2017 IEEE. Batteries for implanted medical devices such as pacemakers typically require surgical replacement every 5 to 10 years causing stress to the patient and their families. A Biofuel cell uses two electrodes with enzymes embedded to convert sugar into electricity. To evaluate the power producing capabilities of biofuel cells to replace battery technology, polypyrrole electrodes were fabricated by compression with Glucose oxidase and Laccase. Vitreous carbon was added to increase the conductivity, whilst glutaraldehyde acted as a crosslinking molecule. A maximum open circuit potential of 558.7 mV, short circuit current of 1.09 mA and maximum power of 0.127 mW was obtained from the fuel cells. This was able to turn on a medical thermometer through a TI BQ25504 energy harvesting circuit, hence showing the powering potential for biomedical devices.
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