Enzymes-based Passive Microfluidic Biological Fuel Cells
ABSTRACT: A passive microfludic enzymatic biofuel cell platform is designed and evaluated. This micropump mimicks water transpiration from a tree roots to its leaves; in this way, biofuels are driven in a flow-through mode along microfludic channels in the biofuel cell substrate. Due to the nature of laminar flow, the anolyte and catholyte form two streams with minimal interfacial diffusion effect that leads to a membraneless fuel cell. The anode of the fuel cell is a metal sheet that is deposited with enzymes that may simultaneously oxidize a mixture of fuels. The cathode complexes facilitate direct electron transfer for oxygen reduction reaction. The configured system does not require exogenous power for fuel delivery, and demonstrates a simple structure and easy operation. This microfluidic biofuel cell will be engineered to provide sustainable, compact power sources for portable and medical electronics. BENEFIT: This research program will lead to a microfluidic biofuel cell that operates in a flow-through mode with zero exogenous power requirements. For medical applications, the implanted biofuel cell can power artificial heart and medical sensortransmitters. For military application, the biofuel cells may power autonomous microrobots and other higher-power demand devices as the military relies on portable electronics for communication, command, surveillance and other applications.
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Hui X. Ph.D.
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