Supercapacitor – Size of Dust
Researchers have managed to fit the same amount of voltage into a micro supercapacitor the size of a particle of dust as a AAA battery cell. This is the first time such an accomplishment has been announced, paving the path for microscopic energy storage systems that can be securely implanted in the human body for biomedical devices and treatments.
The new technique is being hailed as a promising foundation for future biomedical implants. Simple technology, such as tiny sensors that check blood, or larger, more sophisticated systems, such as those that distribute insulin or maintain a failing organ, are examples of such systems.
Systems that are implanted in the body must be safe, compact, and have enough power to function – and power is, by far, the biggest barrier to implantable technology. Researchers from Germany’s Chemnitz University of Technology may have found a solution, and it’s in an astonishingly small package.
The researchers were particularly interested in “bio supercapacitors,” which are extremely small supercapacitors comprised of biocompatible materials that may capture energy from the body. Until now, the smallest of these devices had a volume of 3mm cubed, but that has been surpassed by the most recent prototype, which has a volume of 0.001mm cubed.
As a result, despite being tiny than a speck of dust, the bio supercapacitor can deliver up to 1.6 volts. While the voltage is comparable to that of a AAA battery, the amount of current that can flow through them is significantly less.
This microsupercapacitor was able to power an integrated sensor system that monitors pH blood value, according to the study. In addition, the energy storage device was able to handle realistic blood artery conditions in simulated microfluidic channels that mimicked blood pressure and flow variations.