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Biological fuel cells

Research Achievements

Biological fuel cells

Prof. Bruce Dunn is engaged in work on biological fuel cells, which naturally requires an interdisciplinary approach, including knowledge in the fields of electrochemistry, materials science, and biology. IGERT has facilitated collaboration between Dr. Dunn's laboratory and that of Dr. Eric Hoek. (Dr. Hoek will become an IGERT participant next year, advising an IGERT trainee.) Through this work, IGERT fellow Rita Blaik has considered multiple facets of her work, including sustainability and life cycle analysis. The greatest interdisciplinary challenge lies in keeping the enzymes in the biofuel cell both attached and alive, while also preparing a thin enough electrode to measure an oxidation current. Blaik has been searching for new ways both to make the samples thinner and perhaps attach various chemical binders to the electrodes. However, binders may present a problem if they are not bio-compatible with the enzymes.