We report a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems)-based microbial fuel cell (MFC) that produces a high power density. The MFC features 4.5-μL anode/cathode chambers defined by 20-μm-thick photo-definable polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) films. The MFC uses a Geobacter-enriched mixed bacterial culture, anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) that produces a conductive biofilm matrix. The MEMS MFC generated a maximum current density of 16000 μA cm-3 (33 μA cm-2) and power density of 2300 μW cm-3 (4.7 μW cm-2), both of which are substantially greater than achieved by previous MEMS MFCs. The coulombic efficiency of the MEMS MFC was at least 31%, by far the highest value among reported MEMS MFCs. The performance improvements came from using highly efficient ARB, minimizing the impact of oxygen intrusion to the anode chamber, having a large specific surface area that led to low internal resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1117
Number of pages8
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 21 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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