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A bio-nano generator is a nanoscale electrochemical device, like a fuel cell or galvanic cell, but drawing power from blood glucose in a living body, much the same as how the body generates energy from food. To achieve the effect, an enzyme is used that is capable of stripping glucose of its electrons, freeing them for use in electrical devices.
The average person's body could, theoretically, generate 100 watts of electricity using a bio-nano generator. However, this estimate is only true if all food was converted to electricity, and the human body needs some energy consistently, so possible power generated is likely much lower.
The electricity generated by such a device could power devices embedded in the body (such as pacemakers), or sugar-fed nanorobots.
A similar technology was presented in the Matrix series of science fiction major motion pictures, with robots shown enslaving mankind for its bio-energy. At the time, bio-nano generators were unheard of in popular culture, and the plot device of "a form of fusion" was used to make the harnessing of bio-electricity more plausible to the audience.
Much of the research done on bio-nano generators is still experimental, with Panasonic's Nanotechnology Research Laboratory among those at the forefront.
- Article detailing the technology and its development
Categories: Electric power | Electrochemistry | Electric batteries | Fuel cells | Nanotechnology