Researchers from Egypt and the United States have reportedly created ultrathin, biocompatible supercapacitors that can be used as efficient and long-lasting power sources for implantable devices such as pacemakers, brain stimulators and more.
The scientists made the supercapacitors using graphene, a muscle protein and biofluids as electrolytes. The team reports that such supercapacitors can power pacemakers for a long time by utilizing protein and biofluids available in the body, reducing the need to perform surgery to replace drained power sources.
The supercapacitors are said to be thinner than a human hair and can generate high power density. Unlike pure graphene which is potentially toxic to human cells, the graphene-protein hybrid material used in the supercapacitors showed no toxic effects on specific cultured cells. When allowed to charge and discharge for four days, the polymer-wrapped supercapacitors showed no harmful effects on cells. In addition, they retained their efficiency to charge and discharge even after being bent at an angle of 90° for 1000 bending cycles.