A biocompatible implant electrode capable of operating in body fluids for energy storage devices

Ji Su Chae, Nam Su Heo, Cheol Hwan Kwak, Wan Seob Cho, Geun Hee Seol, Won Sub Yoon, Hyun Kyung Kim, Derek John Fray, A. T.Ezhil Vilian, Yong Kyu Han, Yun Suk Huh, Kwang Chul Roh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Implantable electronic medical devices (IEMDs) can potentially be used to solve various clinical problems including the monitoring of chronic diseases and electro-organ transplantation. Several recently introduced techniques based on implantable devices that exploit novel metal- or carbon-based hybrid materials are biocompatible owing to their encapsulation in nontoxic polymers. However, such techniques limit the correct functioning of implantable devices, resulting in frequent replacement, difficult miniaturization, and inflammatory side effects in the body. Here, we describe a new technique for application to IEMDs that is capable of providing energy storage using the natural ions of body fluids as electrolytes in a supercapacitor (or ultracapacitor). The system is constructed with a solar cell for energy harvesting and a supercapacitor for energy storage. We assembled IEMDs with two biocompatible electrodes, specifically, MnO2 nanoparticles affixed to multi-walled carbon nanotubes as the positive electrodes and phosphidated activated carbon as the negative electrodes. From the obtained result, this work can be further extended to the use of rats. This technique avoids the problems of performance degradation and toxicity that normally limits the reaction that is permissible in extracellular fluid. We present this concept schematically. The two biocompatible electrodes were successfully implanted into the subcutaneous layer of a rat's skin with both electrodes showing stable performance in use as parts of a supercapacitor. These findings establish a platform for potential biocompatible materials for implantable energy storage devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalNano Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2015R1A2A2A03006633).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Biocompatible materials
  • Body fluid
  • Energy storage
  • Implantable device
  • Ultracapacitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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