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A Grenoble scientific team, finalist for the European Inventor Award 2014

on the April 29, 2014
Research, Biology - Medecine - Health, Valuation - Enterprises

What if implants such as pacemakers could receive their energy not from batteries but from the human body itself, preventing the risk and cost of replacement surgery?

A team of French scientists successfully implanted a micro-device that generates electricity from the glucose in the blood of a mammal - a major step forward in the quest for a power source that can operate on its own and doesn't need to be recharged.

The invention by Philippe Cinquin, Serge Cosnier and their team at Joseph Fourier University and CNRS in France is effectively a "living battery" - a fuel cell and conductive wires modified with reactive enzymes that have the power to tap into the body's endless supply of glucose and convert the simple sugar, which constitutes the energy source of living cells, into electricity.

Visions of implantable biofuel cells that use the body's natural energy sources to power pacemakers or artificial hearts have been around since the 1960s, but it is the French team's innovations that represents the closest anyone has ever come to harnessing the energy. In the process, they managed to merge their findings in completely different fields to develop their highly promising invention.

Puce indiquant un lien externe To read all the article, go on the European Patent Office website.

Updated on September 25, 2014

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