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Finally technology is used to create medical products, that in the future will make our lives easier.

 

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml.../ixnewstop.html

 

By Roger Highfield

(Filed: 15/08/2005)

 

A paper battery that generates electricity from urine has been developed by scientists in Singapore to provide a new way to have a medical check-up.

 

The new battery will be ideal for cheap, disposable health care test kits for diabetes, among other ailments.

 

Scientists are trying to design ever smaller "biochips" that can test for a variety of diseases at once, give instant results, and, crucially, can be mass produced. But until now, no one has been able to make a power source as small and as cheap as the detection technology itself.

 

Led by Dr Ki Bang Lee, a research team at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology describes the latest advance today in the Institute of Physics' Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

 

The paper battery is small, cheap to produce and uses the fluid being tested (urine) as the power source for the device doing the testing for glucose, in the case of diabetes, and other chemicals.

 

Dr Lee envisages a world where people can use disposable home test kits that do not require lithium batteries or external power sources.

 

"We are striving to develop cheap, disposable credit card-sized biochips for disease detection. Our battery can be easily integrated into such devices, supplying electricity upon contact with biofluids such as urine," he said.

 

The battery unit is made from a layer of paper steeped in copper chloride and sandwiched between strips of magnesium and copper. This is then laminated. The final product is 60mm by 30mm, with a thickness of just 1mm.

 

Using 0.2ml of urine, Dr Lee generated a voltage of around 1.5V with a corresponding maximum power of 1.5mW.

 

The work complements the "Intelligence Toilet" system, created by Japan's largest lavatory company, Toto, that can measure sugar levels in urine, blood pressure, body fat and weight, but costs nearly £2,000.

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