To zoologists, the electric eel is a marvelous creature that can stunt its prey with a sudden discharge of electric current. However, to material scientists, the electrocytes within its body is the inspiration for the next generation flexible, biocompatible batteries.
In electric fish, an electric organ, usually derived from electrocytes-populated nerve or muscle tissue, is responsible for electrogenesis, the process of creating an electric field. The electrocytes function by pumping positive sodium and potassium ions out of the cell via Na-K pump, generating a rapid electrical potential gradient from the uneven charge separation created while consuming a large quantiy of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
A team of scientists from Switzerland and the U.S. has come up with an electric-eel-inspired battery-like power source. The key component of their concept is stacked hydrogels units that can act like electrocytes. They hope that with these soft, flexible, transparent, and potentially biocompatible "batteries" can one day be used to power future wearable and implantable devices.
Source: Nature Video via Youtube