Wednesday 15 February 2017

Engineers Harness Stomach Acid to Power Tiny Sensors

Since the period of ancient civilization to the contemporary world; the health sector is having a place in the center of the developments, as this is attached to the human race and their well-being. The scientific and technological advancements also paved the way for some of the major discoveries or inventions in the medical science and its allied departments, which are collectively helping us in countering the attack of various ailments.

While the research and development are going on in the different segment of the medical science, at the same time, some of the major breakthroughs have taken place in the health engineering sector, which is having real importance in the treatment of some of the major diseases.

Researchers at the MIT, Women's Hospital and Brigham have together designed and developed a tiny voltaic cell, which can be sustained by the most destructive acidic fluids inside the stomach. This system is able to generate sufficient power, which can be helpful in running small sensors and drug delivery devices and able to resides inside the gastrointestinal channel for a longer period of time.

Issues to be Noted

Although there are other batteries, but this kind of power is having the potential of offering safer and cheapest possible alternative to the existing batteries, which are now being in use to power such kinds of devices, claimed by the researchers. It is often found that traditional power batteries get damaged due to intestinal acidic fluids and the respective device failed to operate according to the need, which causes lots of problems for the person concerned.

Now the answer to this problem is being designed by the scientists in the form of these voltaic cells, which is able to save itself from any kind of vulnerable fluid attacks. Two eminent researchers in this field; Giovanni Traverso, the research affiliate engaged in the prestigious Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the MIT, have designed, built and tested some of the major devices in past, which can be of great help in sensing physiological conditions like heart rate, temperature, breathing rate and more importantly to deliver drugs, with an intention to treat the specific diseases.


On the basis of research and inferences, made by the researchers, this unique development of the device can be of great influence on the search of the new generation electronic ingestible tablets, which will enable magical means that could monitor the basic health of the patient or in treating the diseases.

While there are possible risks in the traditional batterie; these new small voltaic cells are having the potential that can overcome the problem of getting destructed by intestinal fluids thus help the medical devices, planted inside the human body, mentioned by the specialists in this field.

 It can be noted that the study team took the inspiration of this invention from a simple variation of the voltaic cell, popularly known as the lemon battery, which is having two electrodes, with a copper penny and the galvanized nail - that stuck in lemon.

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