Renewable power source search: Lobsters

Moving on to lobsters, the team that is systematically exploring different varieties (see detail in text, below) of renewable power sources:

Co-author Katz

Co-author Evgeny Katz

From ‘cyborg’ lobsters to a pacemaker powered by implantable biofuel cells,” Kevin MacVittie, Jan Halamek, Lenka Halamkov, Mark Southcott, William D. Jemison, Robert Lobel and Evgeny KatzEnergy and Environmental Science, vol. 6, 2013.  The authors, at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY and the University of Vermont College of Medicine, report:

“Enzyme-based biofuel cells implanted into living lobsters or designed as fluidic systems mimicking human blood circulation were used for powering electronic devices. Two lobsters with implanted biofuel cells connected in series were able to generate open circuit voltage up to 1.2 V and an electrical watch, selected as a model electronic device, was activated by the power extracted from the ‘living battery’….

“Based on our recently published reports on biofuel cells implanted in snails and clams, we implanted the biocatalytic electrodes in the American lobster (Homarus americanus).”

Here’s detail from the study:

lobster-arrangement

lobster-schematic

You can hear Kevin MacVittie talk about this, on the Big Picture Science podcast.

(Thanks to investigator Paul Aughey for bringing this to our attention.)