Enzymatic biofuel cells designed for direct power generation from biofluids in living organisms

Takeo Miyake, Keigo Haneda, Nobuhiro Nagai, Yohei Yatagawa, Hideyuki Onami, Syuhei Yoshino, Toshiaki Abe, Matsuhiko Nishizawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

202 Citations (Scopus)


Enzymatic biofuel cells have attracted much attention for their potential to directly use biochemical energy sources in living organisms such as animals, fruits, etc. However, generally natural organisms have a skin, and the oxygen concentration in the organisms is lower than that of biofuels like sugars. Here, we fabricated a novel miniature assembly that consists of a needle bioanode for accessing biofuels in organisms through their skins and a gas-diffusion biocathode for utilizing the abundant oxygen in air. The performance of the biocathode was fourfold improved by optimizing its hydrophobicity. The assembled device with four needle anodes for fructose oxidation was inserted into a raw grape, producing a maximum power of 26.5 μW (115 μW cm-2) at 0.34 V. A light-emitting diode (LED) with the cell served as a self-powered indicator of the sugar level in the grape. Power generation from blood sugar was also investigated by inserting a needle anode for glucose oxidation into a blood vessel in a rabbit ear. Prior coating of the tip of the needle anode with an anti-biofouling agent was effective to stabilize the output power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5008-5012
Number of pages5
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Enzymatic biofuel cells designed for direct power generation from biofluids in living organisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this