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Issue 21, 2009
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A 1.5 µL microbial fuel cell for on-chip bioelectricity generation

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Abstract

We have developed a dual-chamber microfluidic microbial fuel cell (MFC) system that allows on-chip bacterial culture and conversion of bacterial metabolism into electricity. The micro-MFC contains a vertically stacked 1.5 µL anode chamber and 4 µL cathode chamber, and represents the smallest MFC device to our knowledge. Microfluidic deliveries of growth medium and catholyte were achieved in separate flow channels without cross-channel mass exchange. After inoculation of electrogenic Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1, current generation was observed on an external load for up to two weeks. Current production was repeatable with replenishment of organic substrates. A maximum current density of 1300 A/m3 and power density of 15 W/m3 were achieved. Electron microscopic studies confirmed large-scale, uniform biofilm growth on the gold anode, and suggested that the enhanced cell/anode interaction in the small volume may accelerate start-up. Our result demonstrates a versatile platform for studying the fundamental issues in MFCs on the micro-scale, and suggests the possibility of powering nanodevices using on-chip bioenergy.

Graphical abstract: A 1.5 µL microbial fuel cell for on-chip bioelectricity generation

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 May 2009, accepted on 05 Aug 2009 and first published on 21 Aug 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B910586G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2009,9, 3076-3081
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    A 1.5 µL microbial fuel cell for on-chip bioelectricity generation

    F. Qian, M. Baum, Q. Gu and D. E. Morse, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 3076
    DOI: 10.1039/B910586G

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