Cool devices and diagnostics: Advances in the field

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MIT, fuel cell

Image courtesy of MIT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Developer of: A tiny fuel cell powered by glucose
Cool factor: First reported in June 2012, this discovery adds nearly infinite possibilities to what neural implants can ultimately be by giving them a long-term power source that draws from the body itself. The silicon-based chip pulls electrons from glucose molecules in cerebrospinal fluid. It has a platinum catalyst that subsequently creates a small electric current that generates hundreds of microwatts of energy--enough, the researchers say, to power a neural implant.