Researchers in France discovered a new glucose biofuel cell which is believed could form a crucial component of the next generation of medical implants.
Biofuel cell enables producing energy by making use of the glucose and oxygen availability in bodily fluids. Together with the enzymes reacting to generate a current which flows out of the fuel cell through wires encased in tubes, glucose and oxygen enters a dialysis bag.
The study shows that a larger version of the biofuel cell could easily operate a pacemaker, while also being much smaller than the batteries currently used in them.
“In the future we are expecting to develop, for instance, implantable biosensors able to monitor the level of glucose to control the insulin pump. This system could be used to treat conditions such as diabetes,” explained Serge Cosnier, a study co-author from the University of Joseph Fourier in Grenoble.
“The injection of insulin will be more efficient if the glucose level is detected continuously,” Cosnier added. He also elaboratee that the new development of biofuel cell could incorporates a unique arrangement of two graphite discs, each containing special enzymes, which are connected with platinum wires.
Glucose biofuel cell could help to operate artificial organs and aid Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s sufferers by controlling chemicals in the brain such as dopamine, adrenaline and glutamate.