[extropy-chat] Research question: power supply for silicon-based neural prostheses

Anders Sandberg asa at nada.kth.se
Tue Mar 13 00:11:11 UTC 2007

> I'm looking for information regarding (ideally) constant, low-heat
> energy for my fictional brain chip.

Most current implants either breach the skin or preferably use induction
for power. They have a coil under the skin and a device is worn in a
suitable pocket that powers them.

Matsushita has developed a fuel cell that runs on blood glucose,
producing 0.2 mW.

Fuyuki Sato, Makoto Togo, Mohammed Kamrul Islam, Tomokazu Matsue, Junichi
Kosuge, Noboru Fukasaku, Satoshi Kurosawa, Matsuhiko Nishizawa
"Enzyme-Based Glucose Fuel Cell Using Vitamin K3-Immobilized Polymer as an
Electron Mediator" Electrochem. Commun. 7, 643-647 (2005).


Existing interfaces make use a bit more power, e.g. 66 mW
so we need to shrink them a bit - but making a chip energy efficient
enough to be powered by blood (or a better fuel cell) seems eminently
doable. The big problem is communications: how much energy are you willing
to spend on the signals?

Anders Sandberg,
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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