Nano-biosupercapacitors enable autarkic sensor operation in blood


Today’s smallest energy storage devices for in-vivo applications are larger than 3 mm3 and lack the ability to continuously drive the complex functions of smart dust electronic and microrobotic systems. Here, we create a tubular biosupercapacitor occupying a mere volume of 1/1000 mm3 (=1 nanoliter), yet delivering up to 1.6 V in blood. The tubular geometry of this nano-biosupercapacitor provides efficient self-protection against external forces from pulsating blood or muscle contraction. Redox enzymes and living cells, naturally present in blood boost the performance of the device by 40% and help to solve the self-discharging problem persistently encountered by miniaturized supercapacitors. At full capacity, the nano-biosupercapacitors drive a complex integrated sensor system to measure the pH-value in blood. This demonstration opens up opportunities for next generation intravascular implants and microrobotic systems operating in hard-to-reach small spaces deep inside the human body.

Electronic devices, Sensors and biosensors, Supercapacitors
Lee, Y., Bandari, V. K., Li, Z., Medina-Sánchez, M., Maitz, M. F., Karnaushenko, D., et al. (2021). Nano-biosupercapacitors enable autarkic sensor operation in blood. 12.
CC BY 4.0 Unported