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Organic Battery (Adenosine Triphosphate Battery)

by on Jun.23, 2014, under Inventions, Musings

The human body is “powered”, essentially, by a substance called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This substance is regarded as the “energy unit” of life. To use this energy source to, for example, contract a muscle, ATP is converted to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP), resulting in a release of energy. Over time, ADP can be converted back into ADT using the energy obtained from food. ATP can be regarded as the “charged” state, and ADP can be regarded as the “discharged” state of a battery.

This process could be used in two ways.

Firstly, it may be possible to create an “Organic Battery” which converts chemical energy from this process into electrical energy. I found THIS link which seems to indicate that some work is already being done on this process. The only questions would be regarding how small such a power source could be, how efficient the energy transfer would be, and how the battery could be recharged in real-world conditions. This could potentially solve a difficult engineering problem, since battery technology is in need of serious innovation.

Secondly, and more importantly, this process could be used to create a prosthetic organ, or limb, which would be powered by the body’s own energy, like one of its own organs. This means things like artificial hearts would not require the bulky external power packs that they do today. Currently, artificial hearts are normally used to allow the patient enough time to find a donor heart and perform a transplant. A self-powered artificial heart would go a long way to replacing or reducing the reliance on donor hearts, which are in very short supply.




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