According to physicists in Singapore, they have created the first paper battery that generates electricity from urine.
They maintain that this innovative battery will be the ideal power source for cheap, disposable healthcare test-kits for diseases such as diabetes.
All around the world scientists in research groups are attempting to design even smaller "biochips" that can test for a variety of diseases at once, and give instant results; and of course, be mass produced cheaply.
Until now no one has been able to solve the problem of finding a power source as small and as cheap to produce as the detection technology itself.
However now Dr Ki Bang Lee, and a research team at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have developed a paper battery that is small, cheap to make, and which ingeniously uses the bio-fluid being tested (e.g. urine) as the power source for the device doing the testing.
The chemical composition of urine is widely used as a way of testing for tell-tale signs of various diseases and also as an indicator of a person’s general state of health, and the concentration of glucose in urine is a useful diagnostic tool for diabetics.
Lead researcher, Dr Lee, has a vision of a world where people will easily be able to monitor their health at home, using disposable test-kits that don’t need lithium batteries or external power sources.
Dr. Lee says they are striving to develop cheap, disposable credit card-sized biochips for disease detection, and their battery can be easily integrated into such devices, supplying electricity upon contact with biofluids such as urine.