Cyborg Snails: Scientists Implant Biofuel Cell in Living Snail

Posted on March 20, 2012

Living Snail Battery


Researchers led by Evgeny Katz, Professor of Colloid Science at Clarkson University, have implanted a biofuel cell in a living snail. The implanted biofuel cell was able to operate continuously in the snail for a long period of time. The snail with the implanted biofuel cell produces electrical power by using glucose as a fuel.

Scientific American reports that these living snail batteries dine on carrots and can live for up to six months. The researchers say snails with implanted biofuel cell is able to operate in a natural environment, where they could produce sustainable electrical micropower for activating various bioelectronic devices.

Katz and other scientists are working toward a goal of creating insect cyborgs. This idea is being funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Katz's research was published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Photo: Evgeny Katz/Clarkson University