Lobsters for lunch? Not anymore!

Prashant Vadgaonkar
Filed on November 10, 2012

IN ONE of our previous columns we spoke about soluble human implants which could get fully absorbed and dissolved in the human body, as soon as their function is accomplished.

Now, with the rapid strides in research in medical devices and implants industry and the millions pumped in by the cash-rich pharmaceutical and medical device companies, the day is not far when the human implants will be powered by the food that we consume — so pretty much the implants will be energised by the same fuel by which we humans are powered. This “virtual” reality is likely to be a reality soon as was demonstrated by a lobster experiment by Evgeny Katz and team.

Lobsters for lunch? Not anymore! ( Evgeny Katz and his team of researchers from the Clarkson University and University of Vermont College of Medicine have successfully powered a watch by utilizing the glucose from two live lobsters connected in series — akin to batteries. Professor Katz’s lab at Clarkson University has been busy developing a bio-fuel that draws electrical energy from glucose from clams, snails and lobsters. In the past, the bio-fuel cells was tested in abdomens of insects, body of snails but this is the first successful experiments in which living organisms help energize electronics.

In the experiment, the two lobsters powered the watch for about an hour or so, till the lobsters’ glucose levels dipped. However, the voltage picked up, and the lobsters energised the watch for as long as they were alive in the laboratory. The chemical energy received from the glucose from the lobsters’ circulatory system was thus converted to electricity. People with pacemakers would certainly be watching this development more closely since they are obviously the biggest benefactors if this invention could be extrapolated to human beings too!

Professor Evgeny Katz is a pioneer in the field of Bioelectronics and Bio nanotechnology and was included in the list of Top 100 chemists indexed by Thomson Reuters. He was also included in the list of top cited chemists with the worldwide rank of 378. —

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