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Biodegradable Batteries Could Be Used to Power Medical Implants

4 years ago309 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Scientists have developed a battery that can biodegrade inside the patient after it is used for powering invasive medical devices .The battery can harmlessly dissolve inside a person’s body after being used for more than a day, and experts say future designs of the battery could be as small as one micrometer thick.

Scientists have developed a battery that can biodegrade inside the patient after it is used for powering invasive medical devices .

The battery can deliver power for around a day and will harmlessly dissolve inside a person’s body after use. The engineers say future designs could be as small as one micrometer thick.

Using anodes of magnesium foil, and cathodes made of iron, molybdenum or tungsten, the battery can be used to power implants that monitor vital signs along with delivering other medical treatments.

Besides the medical uses, the battery could also have environmental applications like helping clean up after an oil spill by powering hundreds of thousands of small wireless chemical sensors in the ocean.

Back in 2012, John Rogers, a materials scientist from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced the development of a biodegradable silicon chip that could be used to fight infection by heating up the tissue surrounding the implant before dissolving.

The only problem was that the silicon chip required a wireless power source, which meant that other devices also needed to be implanted to make it function.

But now that the biodegradable battery has been developed, maybe the silicon chip implant can be used more easily.