A Real Energy Snack: Scientists Create Fully Edible, Dissolvable Battery for Medical Devices
Smartphone batteryInternationalIndiaAfricaThe battery has the potential to power miniature medical gadgets that monitor and treat health conditions from inside the body, and other devices that require a safe power supply.Scientists have created a new type of fully rechargeable battery made entirely from edible substances that can safely dissolve in the stomach, according to a new study published in Advanced Materials.The battery’s components include riboflavin for the anode, quercetin for the cathode, and activated charcoal to increase electrical conductivity. The electrolyte is a water-based solution, and the separator is made from nori, a seaweed from sushi. The external contacts that transfer the electricity to another device are made of beeswax and gold.It operates at a harmless 0.65 volts and provides a current of 48 microamperes for 12 minutes, making it suitable to power tiny electronics.
The battery’s safety and biodegradability make it suitable for use in children’s toys and medical devices. It also has potential applications in food quality monitoring and powering soft robots.While the prototype is about a square centimeter in size, the researchers are already working on making it smaller and with greater capacity. The battery can maintain its charge over dozens of cycles, but it needs to be outside the body to be recharged.
The researchers hope that their work will lead to further developments in the field, with larger batteries used for energy storage and electric cars. The battery provides proof that batteries can be made from safer materials than current Li-ion batteries, and it could inspire other scientists to build safer batteries for a truly sustainable future.