ATP powered chip

edited December 2015 in Everything else
Just saw this, thought it'd be of interest here:

I wonder how much power they're actually getting


  • Wow. They said that they have the prototype down to the scale of a couple of mm. I would be okay if this thing is a couple cm if it means that I wouldn't have to recharge an implant.

    I am assuming that it scales up? Bigger the system = more power?
  • edited December 2015
    No. This system can only scale down. Let's think about what is driving it for a second. The hydrolysis of ATP. Well, that sounds awesome, the body uses ATP, that makes this the perfect candidate for a whole array of implantable devices. Unfortunately it's not that simple. Yes, the body uses ATP, but (almost) all of that ATP is located inside your cells. Unless you want to rupture your own cells for the purpose of harvesting ATP (and you would need to kill a lot of them to get enough to power a device), you just can't get at that ATP. It's hidden from you by the cell membrane.

    Where this device does get exciting, however, is for micro- to nano-scale electrical devices (think nanometers or micrometers). This basically would allow you to power tiny devices and circuitry inside each individual cell. Nanobots anyone? ;D
  • looks like the start of nanites (not sure on the spelling) like you say this could prove useful but it being nanometers big it could possibly leave the blood stream if the body realizes its a foreign object and could one be destroyed by white blood cells, or be sent out the bowel. This leads me to how will we know how many are in our body or if they are all gone? Yes we could coat it like the magnets but for it to draw APT it will need to break the coating, no?

    This is a while away hopefully not too long tho, I am excited to see what happens.
  • i would be a little nervous of it using ATP, would it take calories from me and use my metabolism to power itself? and if so, how much? 

    i would be more comfortable if there was a device that used my body heat or, the flow my blood to power itself (similar tot he way we dam a river to generate electricity)
  • So if nanobots can theoretically one day harvest power from ATP... couldn't they then ferry that power to a battery somewhere else?
  • overwhelmingly depends what they use the atp for. If they're converting it to electrical energy to power some onboard system than ya maybe, but chances are if it's running on atp it's using that because it's a chemical system. I've designed any number of nanosystems that could work off atp, but there's nothing inherantly electrical about them. While I'm sure you COULD do this, I dunno if it'd be worth it since most of the energy would be used up getting the bots to move from one location to the other. Also any energy you take from the body is energy you can't use for your body. You'd end up needing to eat way more just to keep yourself in balance since the bots are constantly siphoning the stuff you require to function. Would be like having a parasitic infection. 
  • Sounds like an awesome win-win to me. Weight loss with none of the downsides of a tapeworm!
  • Staying with the superhero theme for the week...sounds very Barry Allen to me.

    A little more serious question. I understand atp is good lossing atp is bad. But making at is good especially when someone who is in need of weight-loss.

    How much atp loss is actually bad? where is the line between healthy demand on atp vs unhealthy and can you really call it unhealthy if all you do is eat an extra snack or modify you deity a little bit?
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