Energy extraction from the biologic battery in the inner ear
Author(s)Bandyopadhyay, Saurav; Chandrakasan, Anantha P.; Mercier, Patrick Philip; Lysaght, Andrew Christopher; Stankovic, Konstantina M.
MetadataShow full item record
Endocochlear potential (EP) is a battery-like electrochemical gradient found in and actively maintained by the inner ear [superscript 1, 2]. Here we demonstrate that the mammalian EP can be used as a power source for electronic devices. We achieved this by designing an anatomically sized, ultra-low quiescent-power energy harvester chip integrated with a wireless sensor capable of monitoring the EP itself. Although other forms of in vivo energy harvesting have been described in lower organisms [superscript 3, 4, 5], and thermoelectric [superscript 6], piezoelectric [superscript 7] and biofuel [superscript 8, 9] devices are promising for mammalian applications, there have been few, if any, in vivo demonstrations in the vicinity of the ear, eye and brain. In this work, the chip extracted a minimum of 1.12 nW from the EP of a guinea pig for up to 5 h, enabling a 2.4 GHz radio to transmit measurement of the EP every 40–360 s. With future optimization of electrode design, we envision using the biologic battery in the inner ear to power chemical and molecular sensors, or drug-delivery actuators for diagnosis and therapy of hearing loss and other disorders.
DepartmentHarvard University--MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Microsystems Technology Laboratories
Nature Publishing Group
Mercier, Patrick P, Andrew C Lysaght, Saurav Bandyopadhyay, Anantha P Chandrakasan, and Konstantina M Stankovic. “Energy Extraction from the Biologic Battery in the Inner Ear.” Nature Biotechnology 30, no. 12 (November 8, 2012): 1240–1243.
Author's final manuscript