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article imageNew battery is activated by spit

By Tim Sandle     Aug 19, 2017 in Science
New York - Engineers and microbiologists have invented a new type of battery based on a microbial fuel cells. The battery can be activated by spit and it is intended to be used in extreme conditions.
The device has been invented by scientists from Binghamton University, State University of New York and it is based on a microbial fuel cell. The fuel cell is a bio-electrochemical system that drives an electric current by using bacteria and mimicking bacterial interactions found in nature. The electrochemical cells are constructed using either a bioanode and a biocathode.
The new invention, which was devised by Professor Seokheun Choi, is a high-performing, paper-based, bacteria-powered battery designed with microbial fuel cells. The fuel cells have inactive, freeze-dried exoelectrogenic cells. The cells begin generating power within minutes after saliva is added (crudely a person can spit a little saliva onto their hands and the rub this onto the battery cells). In tests the battery can generate reliable power from with one drop of saliva to power an item of portable medical equipment.
The main use of the battery will be for use in resource-limited regions, as with parts of the developing world, to help power medical equipment, such as point-of-care diagnostic biosensors to screen people for certain diseases. The battery will be of interest to medical device manufacturers.
The new battery is described in the publication Advanced Materials Technologies, with the peer-reviewed research paper titled "A Papertronic, On-Demand and Disposable Biobattery: Saliva-Activated Electricity Generation from Lyophilized Exoelectrogens Preinoculated on Paper."
Professor Choi has previously created a range of portable, paper batteries using bacteria with the aim of offering clean energy solutions, as shown in the video below:
News about the new battery follows on from other news that technologists from University of Maryland have created a new kind of battery. This battery is bio-compatible, and it produces a similar type of of ion-based electrical energy as that used by humans and other animals.
More about Battery, Saliva, Spit, microbial fuel cell, Microbiology
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