Microbatteries made out of M13 viruses
Everything’s mini now, it goes to follow that they run on minibatteries as well. But there’s no such thing as minibatteries… right? Wrong. MIT researchers have just created this breakthrough technology, and they used viruses for it.
Everything’s going mini today (even Paris Hilton’s collection of toy dogs), that’s why it’s becoming more and more imperative for science to come up with batteries that will fit these mini-everything-gadgets.
Well, it seems like a team of MIT researchers also do recognize this need, and that’s why they created a microbattery small and powerful enough to be able to run a range of miniature devices. Oh, and it’s made of viruses. But some of these devices they are looking to use their breakthrough creation on are labs-on-a-chip and implantable medical sensors.
The MIT team composed of professors Angela Belcher, Paula Hammond and Yet-Ming Chiang put into place mini-electrodes with the M13 virus to create the small battery, measuring 6.5 nanometers in diameter and 8880 nanometers in length. What comes next is putting in the cathode, which is the positive electrode that receives electrons from the device the battery is powering. To do this, they used their viral assembly technique. According to Belcher and company, “Cathode materials are currently being investigated for a full self-assembled microbattery.”
Their breakthrough procedure is reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
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