In Washington, researchers at Washington State University developed an implantable, biofuel-powered sensor that runs on sugar and can monitor a body’s biological signals to detect, prevent and diagnose diseases. A cross-disciplinary research team led by Subhanshu Gupta, assistant professor in WSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, developed the unique sensor, which, enabled by the biofuel cell, harvests glucose from body fluids to run.
The research team has demonstrated a unique integration of the biofuel cell with electronics to process physiological and biochemical signals with high sensitivity.
Many popular sensors for disease detection are either watches, which need to be recharged, or patches that are worn on the skin, which are superficial and can’t be embedded. The sensor developed by the WSU team could also remove the need to prick a finger for testing of certain diseases, such as diabetes.
“The human body carries a lot of fuel in its bodily fluids through blood glucose or lactate around the skin and mouth,” said Gupta. “Using a biofuel cell opens the door to using the body as potential fuel.”