Electronics have been sent to some pretty extreme environments, but inside a living host is a particularly tricky set of conditions, especially if you don’t want to damage the organism ingesting the equipment. One step in that direction could be an edible battery cell. (via Electrek)
Developed by scientists at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, this new cell is made from food additives and ingredients to skirt any nasty side effects one might experience from ingesting a less palatable battery chemistry like NiCd. A riboflavin anode is coupled with a quercetin cathode, both with activated carbon to increase conductivity. Encapsulated in beeswax and with a separator made of nori algae, the battery is completely non-toxic.
The cell generates a modest 0.65V with a max sustained current of 48 µA for 12 min, but it shows promise as a power source for ingestible medical sensors, even if it won’t be powering your next mobile Raspberry Pi project. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen edible electronics; check out this screaming chocolate rabbit or robots made of candy.
Yet another Day of the Chocolate Bunnies has passed by, and what did you do to mark the occasion? You likely kicked back and relaxed, surrounded by whatever you gave up for Lent, but good for you if you mixed chocolate and electronics like [Repeated Failure] did. They created a completely edible chocolate Easter bunny that screams when bitten.
So obviously, the hardest part is figuring out something to build the circuit with that is both conductive and safe to eat. [Repeated Failure] spent a lot of time with carbon oleogel paste, which is made from natural oils and waxes. Not only was it less conductive than [Repeated Failure]’s skin, it came out pitch black and tasted like nothing, which kind of a bonus, when you think about it.
Then came the cake paint, which [Repeated Failure] laced with trace amounts of silver powder. While that worked somewhat better, a successful circuit would have likely required near-fatal amounts of the stuff. Yikes!
The winner turned out to be edible silver leaf, which is like gold leaf but cheaper. Ever had Goldschläger? Gold leaf is what’s suspended inside. The really nice thing about silver leaf is that it comes in thin sheets and can easily be cut into circuit traces with scissors and connected to I/O pins with copper tape. Be sure to check it out after the break, including [Repeated Failure]’s friend’s reaction to innocently biting the chocolate bunny’s ears off, as one tends to do first.
Think you’d rather hear plants giggle? Sure, it sounds cute, but it’s actually kind of creepy.
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