For several decades, scientists are looking for a way to create the safest and biologically friendly way to energize electrical devices implanted in the human body. Think about it: well, who wants to put toxic batteries in their bodies, and then periodically change them through surgical interventions? In nature there is a vivid example of an animal that is able to generate electricity with the help of its body – it’s an electric eel. It was he who inspired a team of researchers from several American universities to create a fundamentally new source of electricity.
The eel is able to generate electricity by means of rows of thin cells piercing all of its elongated body. Cells resemble biological electrodes, through which sodium and potassium ions pass to their different ends. In this case, the total voltage in the body of the eel can reach 1300 volts, and the current strength is 1 ampere. One powerful discharge of electricity is quite capable of killing a large enough animal or, for example, stunning a horse. Acne uses this natural mechanism to protect itself from other predators and to hunt. In terms of generation of electricity with acne, it can be argued that skates are.
Earlier, Chinese scientists have already made attempts to copy the natural generator of electric acne and to realize in its likeness new elements of nutrition. At the beginning of the year, we even told you about their developments in this area. But in the case of the Chinese project, it was about feeding various portable electronics or smart clothes. In the case of researchers from the universities of Friborg, Michigan and San Diego, they aimed at using unusual elements of nutrition in medical implants.
In their development they used a 3D printer, hydrogel, plastic sheets and special membranes that separate multiple cells among themselves. As the main mechanism, a difference in the concentration of salt in sea and fresh water was chosen. This allowed to achieve reverse electrodialysis and, as a result, the generation of electricity without the need to recharge the battery. Scientists have called their invention “an artificial electrical organ”. Here it should be noted that part of the body of acne, responsible for the generation of electricity, is called exactly the same.