, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 79-90

Parametric study of the anode of an implantable biological fuel cell

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In this paper, electrochemical oxidation of glucose at the concentration level present in human venous plasma is discussed, with the object of determining the feasibility of constructing an implantable fuel cell for powering a prosthetic heart. The model anode considered consists of a diffusing membrane, to prevent blood contact, backed by a porous electrode structure. The latter is assumed to consist of parallel tubular pores of length equal to the electrode thickness. The variation of membrane and electrode parameters and rate constants for glucose oxidation are considered as functions of reaction order and oxidation product under different flow conditions. It is shown that the least optimistic case, oxidation of glucose only to gluconic acid, is apparently marginally feasible.