Fuel Cell Implants?

April 8, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] With designs that hurdle several scientific barriers, two new fuel cells developed at Brown University are models for power sources that may one day energize medical implants or remote sensors. Brown engineers discussed the new cells Thursday March 27, 2003, in New Orleans at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society. The Brown fuel cells do not require an ion-conducting membrane or selective catalysts at the electrodes to separate the fuel-containing fluids – two thorny technological traits of fuel cell design that must be considered in the development of miniature fuel cells. Instead, the new fuel cells exploit the fact that fluids do not mix under certain conditions. The Brown-developed fuel cells work in tandem to provide power under the pulsating conditions that mimic the flow of blood in the body. Until now, fuel cell makers had been stymied in their efforts to produce a membrane-less device that did not short-circuit under pulsed flow.

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