Edible Battery To Power Internal Medical Devices

edible_battery_Imagine taking a pill with an ingestible sensor that takes measurements and sends information wirelessly to your doctor, or a pill that senses changes in your gut microbiome and adjusts its dose accordingly. Ingestible medical devices promise such applications, and many more, but a big challenge is making their power sources safe for our bodies.

“For decades, people have been envisioning that one day, we would have edible electronic devices to diagnose or treat disease,” materials scientist Christopher Bettinger said in a statement. “But if you want to take a device every day, you have to think about toxicity issues. That’s when we have to think about biologically derived materials that could replace some of these things you might find in a RadioShack.”

Bettinger and his team at Carnegie Mellon University have taken a big step towards that goal. They’ve developed a battery out of melanin, a pigment that occurs naturally in our skin, hair, and eyes. Melanins protect our bodies from free radicals, but they also bind and unbind metallic ions, a chemical process crucial to the function of batteries.

The team built the batteries using melanin and other biocompatible materials such as manganese oxide, copper, and iron. They found that the melanin battery could power a 5 milliwatt device for up to 18 hours.

By Coby McDonald | Popular Science

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About Peter Coffaro 1430 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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