The future of advanced implantable medical devices may depend on whether new, biocompatible sources of power can be developed. Batteries that work inside the body and eventually disintegrate may be important for devices that themselves can be resorbed. Researchers at Binghamton University have now developed a fully biodegradable battery that, though not directly designed for medical applications, may point to a new age in which tiny, electrically powered devices can be implanted to perform limited tasks and that don’t have to be removed after their job is done.
The “biobattery” made at Binghamton is cheap to produce, is flexible, and features a relatively high level of functional efficiency. It’s made out of paper and special polymers (poly (amic) acid and poly (pyromellitic dianhydride-p-phenylenediamine)), all of which is biodegradable (but not necessarily safe for humans).
The battery breaks apart over time when in a pure water environment, which means it doesn’t need anything else to be added to degrade into tiny specs. It’s also modular and can be made to different specifications and needs, including being stackable, increasing its power capacity.
Study in journal Advanced Sustainable Systems: Green Biobatteries: Hybrid Paper–Polymer Microbial Fuel Cells…