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Issue 17, 2013
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A pacemaker powered by an implantable biofuel cell operating under conditions mimicking the human blood circulatory system – battery not included

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Abstract

Biocatalytic electrodes made of buckypaper were modified with PQQ-dependent glucose dehydrogenase on the anode and with laccase on the cathode and were assembled in a flow biofuel cell filled with serum solution mimicking the human blood circulatory system. The biofuel cell generated an open circuitry voltage, Voc, of ca. 470 mV and a short circuitry current, Isc, of ca. 5 mA (a current density of 0.83 mA cm−2). The power generated by the implantable biofuel cell was used to activate a pacemaker connected to the cell via a charge pump and a DC–DC converter interface circuit to adjust the voltage produced by the biofuel cell to the value required by the pacemaker. The voltage–current dependencies were analyzed for the biofuel cell connected to an Ohmic load and to the electronic loads composed of the interface circuit, or the power converter, and the pacemaker to study their operation. The correct pacemaker operation was confirmed using a medical device – an implantable loop recorder. Sustainable operation of the pacemaker was achieved with the system closely mimicking human physiological conditions using a single biofuel cell. This first demonstration of the pacemaker activated by the physiologically produced electrical energy shows promise for future electronic implantable medical devices powered by electricity harvested from the human body.

Graphical abstract: A pacemaker powered by an implantable biofuel cell operating under conditions mimicking the human blood circulatory system – battery not included

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Mar 2013, accepted on 06 Mar 2013 and first published on 07 Mar 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50929J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 6278-6283
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    A pacemaker powered by an implantable biofuel cell operating under conditions mimicking the human blood circulatory system – battery not included

    M. Southcott, K. MacVittie, J. Halámek, L. Halámková, W. D. Jemison, R. Lobel and E. Katz, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 6278
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP50929J

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