Micro Battery Assembled By Virus

MIT researchers have used a viral assembly method to create a battery at half the size of a human cell. They’ve successfully developed the anode and electrolyte, leaving only the cathode unfinished. each electrode is only 4 micrometers in diameter.

The construction process involves taking a rubbery base and creating a pattern of tiny posts through lithography. Then they add different layers of polymers that act as an electrolyte. Finally the virus preferentially self-assembles on top of the polymer creating the anode. Pictured above is a test plate. The battery itself is too small to be seen.

[via BoingBoing]

6 thoughts on “Micro Battery Assembled By Virus

  1. That’s freakin’ cool, but let’s be honest – how much energy is a tiny little battery like that going to store? How useful can it possibly be? It stands to reason that it will take far more energy than this can produce or store to run a device even small enough to match the form factor of this cell. Kudos on the accomplishment guys, but please get back to something useful with all that time, money, and equipment, like curing cancer or something productive.

  2. it’s not how much a single cell can produce… it’s how many of these cells can you fit into a certain space and how much power they provide _together_ that’s real question. it also brings in the possibility of self replicating batteries if they’re creating a “virus” to create the battery.

  3. This could, in a sense, be a huge step forward in fighting diseases. This goes to show we would be able to power those ‘nanotechnology robots” that we could send into our bloodstream and it will repair our body at a cellular level! (j/k, or maybe it will be true :O?)

  4. This is wonderful! Nanotechnology is going to thrive with this, and this is potentially efficient beyond our wildest dreams! With oligonucleotide synthesis as cheap as it is now it’s only a matter of time until someone decides to make a microscopic Zamboni pile.

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