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Supplying Power for
Implantable Biosensors
Introduction to Biosensors
16.441, 16.541
Group Members:
Sujith Kana
Jesse Vengren
Abstract
Powering implantable biosensors is
difficult.
 Do not what to limit the subjects
movement or impede them in anyway.
 Want it to be minimally invasive
 Want the power supply to last
 Do not to want to constantly replacing
them
 Miniaturization is critical

Background
Biosensors thou are fad in the current
decade, they have been there since early
1970’s.
 Powering up the biosensor was a
challenge even in 1970’s
 Earliest application was pace maker
 Mercury-Zinc was powering the
pacemaker
 Nuclear fueled cells considered as an
option!

Energy Harvesting
Gathering energy from environment the
device is in
 Many different energy harvesting
techniques: wind, solar, kinetic, thermal
 Not every one is appropriate for
implantable biosensors

Kinetic Energy
Using the motion of the body to generate
power.
 Three methods to turn mechanical into
electric energy
 Electromagnetic, Electrostatic, and
Piezoelectric

Electromagnetic
Uses the change in magnetic flux to
create power
 Generated by moving a coil through a
magnetic field
 Relatively simple
 Same Method used in watches

Electrostatic
Uses variable capacitors
 Changes in the distance between the
plates to change either current or voltage
 This type of kinetic energy is used in
MEMS
 Works well at low power

Piezoelectric
By deforming piezoelectric material you
can generate a voltage
 Out side of the body it is easy to create
mechanical deformation
 Hard to find a natural body motion to
create deformation

Issues with Kinetic Energy
Moving parts wear out
 Electrostatic requires preexisting Charge
 For Piezoelectric need to be able to cause
mechanical deformation

Thermal Energy
Uses temperature difference to create voltage
 Seebeck Effect: Voltage is generated due to a
difference in temperature between two
junctions of dissimilar metals


Many thermocouples in series to create thermopile
Issues with Thermal Energy
To need large ΔT for single thermocouple
 Internal temperature change is small
 When ΔT is small one thermocouple
does not generate much energy
 Size becomes and issue.

Acoustic Power
Application of piezoelectric
kinetic energy
 Power by acoustic waves
 Waves generated outside the
body transmit power to
implanted device
 Antenna similar to speaker
cone receives acoustic wave
and deforms piezoelectric
material

Fuel Cell




Sir William Grove found it in 1839
On chip power for microelectronics
Traditional Fuel cells vs Biological Fuel
Cells
Powered by Sacccharomyces Cerevisiae
Conventional Fuel Cell
Fuel Cell Continued…
Discussion
Discussion
1. Yeast
2. Cell Inoculum
3. Temperature
4. Glucose Concentration
5. Stagnant vs Agitated
solution
6. Aerobic vs Anaerobic
Condition
7. Active and Reserve
Configuration
Discussion ctnd…
1.Yeast
Discussion Cntd…
2. Temperature
Discussion Cntd…
3. Glucose Concentration
Discussion Cntd…
4. Stagnant vs Agitated Solution
Discussion Cntd
5. Aerobic vs Anaerobic Condition
Discussion Cntd
6. Active and Reserve Configuration
Issues of Biological fuel cells
Micro watts of power generation
 Performance over time
 Environmental conditions
 Electrochemical contact of the microorganism
 Cost

RF Power
Amplifier
 Inductive Coupling
 Rectifier
 DC Regulator

Figure 1: Simplified RF Powering System
(ref 1)
RF Power continued…
Issues of RF power
Changes in coupling coefficient
 Confined to lab
 Heating of tissues
 Dependence on patient compliance
 Possible RF interference

Conclusion
There are many possible option for
powering implantable biosensors
 Each method has its pros and cons
 Some are closer to being reality then
others
 Technology is constantly advancing

Work Cited
1.
Victor Parsonnet, M.D. “Power Sources for Implantable Cardiac
2.
Pacemakers*” Chest American College of Chest Physicians 1972
3.
Nattapon Chaimanonart, Keith R. Olszens, Mark D. Zimmerman, Wen H. Ko, and Darrin J. Young, “ Implantable RF Power Converter
for Small Animal In Vivo Biological Monitoring” Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 27th Annual
Conference Shanghai, China, September 1-4, 2005
4.
Chaimanonart, W. H. Ko, D. J. Young, “Remote RF Powering System for MEMS Strain Sensors,” Technical Digest of The Third IEEE
International Conference on Sensors, pp. 1522 –1525, October 2004
5.
Bhatia D, Bairagi S, Goel S, Jangra M. Pacemakers charging using body energy. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2010;2:51-4
6.
Charles W. Walker, Jr. and Alyssa L. Walker, “Biological Fuel Cell Functional as an Active or Reserve Power Source” , ARL-TR-3840
Army Research Lab
7.
Jonathan Lueke and Walied A. Moussa, “MEMS-Based Power Generation Techniques for Implantable Biosensing Applications ” Sensors
2011, 11, 1433-1460;
8.
Kerzenmacher, S.; Ducree, J.; Zengerle, R.; von Stetten, F. Energy Harvesting by Implantable Abiotically Catalyzed Glucose Fuel Cells. J.
Power Source. 2008, 182, 1-17.
9.
Rao, J.R. Boelectrochemistry. I. Biological Redox Reactions; Milazzo, G., Black, M., Eds.; Plenum Press: New York, NY, USA, 1983; pp. 283355.
10.
Mano, N.; Mao, F.; Heller, A. Characteristics of a Miniature Compartment-less Glucose-O2 Biofuel Cell and Its Operation in a Living
Plant. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 6588-6594.
11.
Kuhn, M.; Napporn, T.; Meunier, M.; Therriault, D.; Vengallatore, S. Fabrication and Testing of Coplanar Single-Chamber Micro Solid
Oxide Fuel Cells with Geometrically Complex Electrodes. J. Power Source. 2008, 177, 148-153.
12.
Olivo, Jacopo, Sandro Carrara, and Giovanni De Micheli. "Energy Harvesting and Remote Powering for Implantable Biosensors Infoscience." Home - Infoscience. Web. 04 March. 2011.
13.
Shih, Po-Jen, and Wen-Pin Shih. "Design, Fabrication, and Application of Bio-Implantable Acoustic Power Transmission." IEEEXplore.
Web. 4 Mar. 2011.
14.
Walker, Charles W., and Alyssa L. Walker. "Biological Fuel Cell Functional as an Active or Reserve Power Source." Web. 4 Mar. 2011.
<http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA450058>.
15.
N. G. Elvin, A. A. Elvin, and M. Spector, “A self-powered mechanical strain energy sensor,” Smart Mater. Struct., vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 293–
299, Apr. 2001.
16.
M. Umeda, K. Nakamura, and S. Ueha, “Energy storage characteristics of a piezo generator using impact induced vibration,” Jpn. J. Appl.
Phys., vol. 36, pt. 1, no. 5B, pp. 3146–3151, May 1997.
17.
Beeby, S. P., Torah Tudor, and M.J. Tudor. "Kinetic Energy Harvesting." Yahoo! Search - Web Search. Web. 04 Apr. 2011.
<http://74.6.238.254/search/srpcache?ei=UTF-8>.
18.
http://americanhistory.si.edu/fuelcells/basics.htm

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