Blood sugar tech’s magic

Paul Raven @ 20-07-2011

Medical implants – think pacemakers and the like – are getting more commonplace, and that trend is likely to continue. But as any gadget-hound will know, tech needs juice to keep running… and you don’t really want to have to keep digging out a device from inside your body so you can swap out the batteries, do you? Of course you don’t… which is why the University of Frieburg’s research into biological fuel cells powered by the host’s blood sugar is a promising development.

They are looking into the use noble metal catalysts, such as platinum, to trigger a continuous electrochemical reaction between glucose in the blood and oxygen from the surrounding tissue fluid. The use of platinum (or a similar metal) would be ideal, as the material exhibits long-term stability, it can be sterilized, and electrodes made from it wouldn’t be sensitive to unwanted chemical reactions, including hydrolysis and oxidation.

The Freiburg scientists are ultimately hoping that the surfaces of implants could be covered with a thin coating of the fuel cells, which would then power the devices indefinitely.

Medical uses are all well and good, of course, but there’s a whole bunch of other cyborg gubbins that could use the same power-source. Book your combat hardening and sousveillance countermeasure systems implant appointments today!

[ Yeah, yeah, I know. Puns don’t kill people; people kill people. ]


Mass Custom Microbots For Everyone… Else.

C Sven Johnson @ 24-03-2010

Future Imperfect - Sven Johnson

Unlike most people my age, I don’t have a lot of dead tech replacement parts crammed inside my body. No hand-polished titanium joints. No electro-membrane kidney prefilters. No brand name ocular or cochlear augmentation devices. Just some old metal fillings and a couple of porcelain crowns. However, over the past few years I’ve been reaching that point where good genetic fortune runs out and difficult choices need to be made. As a consequence, while recently undergoing a routine physical exam, my doctor recommended I consider having a colony of MoniBots™ injected into my system so they could monitor my physical condition and report back anything out of the ordinary.

I told her I’d give it some thought. Continue reading “Mass Custom Microbots For Everyone… Else.”