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Generating Electricity within the Physiological Environment for Low Power Implantable Medical Device Applications: Towards the development of in-vivo biofuel cell technologies

Justin, Gusphyl Antonio (2007) Generating Electricity within the Physiological Environment for Low Power Implantable Medical Device Applications: Towards the development of in-vivo biofuel cell technologies. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Electrochemical studies were performed to explore electron transfer (ET) between human white blood cells (WBC) and carbon fiber electrodes (CFE). Currently, an active area of research involves encouraging ET between microbes and various electrodes in a biofuel cell (BFC). ET between microbes and electrodes are thought to occur i) directly through plasma membrane-bound electron transport chain proteins; and/or ii) indirectly through the release of metabolic products or biomolecules near the electrode surface. An important motivation of this research is the need for alternative long lasting power sources for implantable diagnostic and therapeutic devices. A particular interest is reducing the size and weight of implantable devices. Currently employed internal batteries largely contribute to both. BFCs are promising prospects as they couple the oxidation of a biofuel (such as glucose) to the reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Both glucose and oxygen are abundantly present within our body's cells and tissues. The goal of this project is to explore the feasibility of utilizing WBCs (a human cell model) to generate electricity by fostering direct or indirect ET between these cells - or more specifically, between the metabolic processes of these cells - and the anode of a BFC. ET from the metabolic processes of whole cells to electrodes had, to the best of our knowledge, only previously been demonstrated for microbes. The electrochemical activities of WBCs isolated from whole human blood by red blood cell (RBC) lysis, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated on a Ficoll-Paque gradient, as well as cells from a BLCL cell line and two leukemia cell lines (K562 and Jurkat) were all investigated by incorporation of the cells into the anode compartment of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Cyclic voltammetry was employed as an electrochemical technique to investigate the ET ability of the cells, as it can reveal both thermodynamic and kinetic information regarding oxidation-reduction processes at the CFE surface. The results of our studies demonstrate that upon activation, biochemical species, such as serotonin, are released by PBMCs, which may become irreversibly oxidized at the electrode surface.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Justin, Gusphyl
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSclabassi,
Committee MemberWaldeck, Daviddave@pitt.eduDAVE
Committee MemberBorovetz, Harveyborovetzhs@upmc.eduBOROVETZ
Committee MemberSun, Minguimrsun@neuronet.pitt.eduDRSUN
Committee MemberCui, Xinyan Tracyxic11@pitt.eduXIC11
Committee MemberZhang, Yingzezhangy@upmc.eduZHANG3
Date: 25 September 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 June 2007
Approval Date: 25 September 2007
Submission Date: 24 July 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Bioengineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: NADPH oxidase; serotonin; biofuel cell; white blood cell
Other ID:, etd-07242007-103136
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:53
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:36


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