While paper-based biosensors have shown promise in this area, the existing technology must be paired with hand-held devices for analysis. Choi says he envisions a self-powered system in which a paper-based battery would create enough energy -- we're talking microwatts -- to run the biosensor. Creating such a system is the goal of a new three-year grant of nearly $300,000 he received from the National Science Foundation.
Choi's battery, which folds into a square the size of a matchbook, uses an inexpensive air-breathing cathode created with nickel sprayed onto one side of ordinary office paper. The anode is screen printed with carbon paints, creating a hydrophilic zone with wax boundaries.
Total cost of this potentially game-changing device? Five cents.
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