Glucose as a new energy source for pacemakers

Glucose as a new energy source for pacemakers
Bio-battery for pacemakers

Researchers at the Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (Technological Institute of Energy, ITE) are developing a bio-battery that uses blood glucose to produce energy. Such a battery would cut down on the number of surgical interventions a pacemaker user must endure.

Current batteries are hard-wearing and work well for implants that do not require much energy. However, when they run out, the patient must undergo surgery to replace them. Even devices that do not use much electricity, like pacemakers, have a limited useful life given this dependence on batteries.

The challenge of research in this area lies in developing electrodes made from materials that are compatibile with the and able to oxidise and convert it into fuel.

Mireia Buaki, project leader at the ITE, says, "Glucose and oxygen are readily available in the human body, meaning our bio-battery could keep working indefinitely. Once the electrodes are fully developed, the next step will be to build a prototype bio-battery and test it to see whether it is able to obtain and store enough energy to power small like pacemakers and cochlear implants."

The ITE has been working on the development of polymeric and carbonaceous materials for energy generation and storage systems for many years. This technology is versatile and offers many applications across a diverse range of fields, from the analysis and detection of substances in foodstuffs to wastewater treatment.

Explore further

Liquid battery made of biomass could store energy from wind and solar power

Provided by Asociacion RUVID
Citation: Glucose as a new energy source for pacemakers (2016, May 2) retrieved 23 August 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more