Edible Supercapacitors Made Out of Food

Hanqing Jiang (Inventor)

Research output: Patent


Many medical devices, such as deep brain neurostimulators, cardiac defibrillators, pacemakers, and insulin pumps, require an embedded energy source. Batteries are widely used as medical device power sources. However, these batteries generally contain toxic metals such as lithium, lead, or cadmium, as well as many other toxic organic components in the electrolyte. Additionally, due to the limitations of the internal electrochemical properties, batteries are generally not suitable for cases that need high frequency impulses or high instantaneous power output. Biodegradable electronics and bioresolvable devices are emerging solutions to these problems, but still face challenges with structural materials and toxic components. Therefore, there is a need for a safe, non-toxic power source for medical applications. Researchers at Arizona State University have invented an edible supercapacitor composed completely of food. Prototypes are fully functional and have shown high charge-discharge cycling stability and high power density. These results demonstrate that these supercapacitors have electrochemical advantages over batteries and are comparable to traditional supercapacitors. All of the materials in this supercapacitor are non-toxic, edible, and available to everyday consumers. Overall, this technology presents an inexpensive and safe power source for in vivo electronic devices. Potential Applications Medical implants Pharmaceuticals Monitors and sensors Medical cameras Smart pills Benefits and Advantages Fully functional Prototypes verify that this supercapacitor demonstrates charge-discharge cycling stability and power density comparable to traditional supercapacitors. Non-Toxic Every component of the supercapacitor is safe and edible. Lower costs The materials are inexpensive and available to everyday consumers. Innovative Uses non-traditional materials to solve medical needs. Download Original PDF For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. Hanqing Jiang's directory webpage
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015


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