While miscreants are harvesting organs from unsuspecting tourists, researchers are busy harvesting energy from the human body. One promising tech that could power future generations of implanted medical devices is the Glucose BioFuel Cell (GBFC). In fact, a team of researchers have created the first known GBFC to function inside a living body -- 11 days inside "Ricky" the lab rat's peritoneum, to be exact. The small device produced 2 microwatts of power over several hours, achieving a peak energy density of 24.4 microwatts per milliliter. The study concludes that a larger GBFC could be used to power a standard pacemaker (requiring ten microwatts of sustained power) yet still be smaller than the batteries in use today. Co-author Serge Cosnier of the Université Joseph Fourier says that an improved GBFC could even power biosensors like the ones proposed for insulin pumps. Until that day arrives, click through for the before- and, um, organic
after-implant pics. The fact that the rat's body had coated the GBFC device with tissue and newly grown blood vessels is proof that the body had accepted it for glucose and oxygen processing.
P.S. That's the Engadget Lolrat, not Ricky, pictured above. Ricky was apparently unharmed... this time