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Biofuel cell backpacked insect and its application to wireless sensing

Shoji, Kan, Akiyama, Yoshitake, Suzuki, Masato, Nakamura, Nobuhumi, Ohno, Hiroyuki, Morishima, Keisuke
Biosensors & bioelectronics 2016 v.78 pp. 390-395
Blattodea, NAD (coenzyme), NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (quinone), biosensors, electric power, electrochemistry, glucose, hemolymph, humidity, insects, menadione, microbial fuel cells, oxidation, robots, sodium, temperature, trehalase, trehalose
This study investigated an enzymatic biofuel cell (BFC) which can be backpacked by cockroaches. The BFC generates electric power from trehalose in insect hemolymph by the trehalase and glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) reaction systems which dehydrogenate β-glucose obtained by hydrolyzing trehalose. First, an insect-mountable BFC (imBFC) was designed and fabricated with a 3D printer. The electrochemical reaction of anode-modified poly-l-lysine, vitamin K3, diaphorase, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, GDH and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) in the imBFC was evaluated and an oxidation current of 1.18mAcm⁻² (at +0.6V vs. Ag|AgCl) was observed. Then, the performance of the imBFC was evaluated and a maximum power output of 333μW (285μWcm⁻²) (at 0.5V) was obtained. Furthermore, driving of both an LED device and a wireless temperature and humidity sensor device were powered by the imBFC. These results indicate that the imBFC has sufficient potential as a battery for novel ubiquitous robots such as insect cyborgs.