A new disposable battery that folds like an origami ninja star could power biosensors and other small devices for use in challenging field conditions, a Binghamton University engineer says.
Seokheun “Sean” Choi and two of his students developed the device, a microbial fuel cell that runs on the bacteria available in a few drops of dirty water. They report on their invention in a new paper published online in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.
Choi previously developed a paper-based origami battery. The first design, shaped like a matchbook, stacked four modules together. The ninja star version, which measures about 2.5 inches wide, boasts increased power and voltage, with eight small batteries connected in series.
“Last time, it was a proof of concept. The power density was in the nanowatt range,” says Choi, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “This time, we increased it to the microwatt range. We can light an LED for about 20 minutes or power other types of biosensors.”