Thin film nanoporous silica and graphene based biofuel cells (iBFCs) for low-power implantable medical device applications

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Sharma, Tushar

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This thesis describes the fabrication and characterization of an inorganic catalyst based glucose Biofuel cell using nanoporous (mesoporous) silica thin-film as a functional membrane. The desired use of nanoporous silica based biofuel cell is for a blood vessel implantable device. Blood vessel implantable Biofuel Cells (iBFCs) are subjected to higher glucose concentrations and blood flow rates. However, reduction in the implant thickness is critical for the intra-vascular implantable Biofuel cells. Platinum thin-film (thickness: 25 nm) deposited on Silicon substrate (500 [mu]m) served as the anode while Graphene pressed on Stainless steel mesh (175 [mu]m) was used as the cathode. Control experiments involved the use of surfactant-coated polypropylene membrane (50 [mu]m) and Activated Carbon (198 [mu]m) electrodes. Preliminary results show that nanoporous silica thin film (270 nm) is capable of replacing the conventional polymer based membranes with an increased power density output of as high as 10 [mu]W/cm2 under physiological conditions. in-vitro (5 [mu]W/cm2) and in-vivo (10 [mu]W/cm2) experiments demonstrate the potential of ultra-thin iBFCs towards powering future medical implants.



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