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Researchers design artificial cells that could power medical implants
Date:10/9/2008

e to create a smaller "bio-battery" using several dozen artificial cells. The tiny bio-batteries would only need to be about -inch thick to produce the small voltages needed to power tiny electrical devices such as retinal implants or other prostheses.

Although the engineers came up with a design, it will still be some time before the artificial cells are actually built. For one thing, they still need a power source before they could start producing electricity. LaVan speculates the cells could be powered in a way similar to their natural counterparts. It's possible, he said, that bacteria could be employed to recycle ATP responsible for transferring energy within the cell using glucose, a common source of chemical energy derived from food.

With an energy source in place, the artificial cells could one day power medical implants and would provide a big advantage over battery-operated devices. "If it breaks, there are no toxins released into your system," said Xu. "It would be just like any other cell in your body."


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Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert

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