Air Breathing Batteries – No Joke!

Ever wondered how we would get all those cool gadgets to work that we see in Star Trek or Sci Fi movies? You know, things like contact lenses with mini computers that display images right to your eye or maybe an implanted health sensor that automatically releases insulin or other medications directly into the blood before you even know there’s a problem or (my favorite) light-emitting tattos! It’s one thing to think up things like that, it’s another to find a way to actually make it work. We mentioned in an earlier post how a heart device could be powered using the body’s own blood, but now scientists have constructed a bio-battery that actually RECHARGES BY TAKING OXYGEN DIRECTLY FROM THE AIR! Did anyone else just have a nerdgasm? From the Polish team developing the battery, the lead, Dr Jönsson-Niedziółka, said, “One of the most popular experiments in electrochemistry is to make a battery by sticking appropriately selected electrodes into a potato. We are doing something similar… [but] we’d rather replace the potato with… a human being.
Here’s a picture of a stack of four of the batteries powering a bike light:

 Get excited, but don’t go planning your new tats just yet, because the limiting factors are the properties of the enzymes that interact to produce the power, both in lifespan and power output. Still, very amazing work being done at the moment!