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The development of self-powered wearable biodevices is highly attractive for a number of applications, such as health monitoring and drug delivery. Enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs) hold great potential as power sources for such devices, since they can generate power from physiological fluids and operate at body temperature.

In this study, we present a cascade of three EFCs embedded in a compact and handy single channel device and we demonstrate for the first time power generation from iontophoresis extracts obtained from pig skin. The EFCs implement non-toxic highly-porous gold electrodes; an easy-to-reproduce procedure is adopted for the immobilization of glucose oxidase and laccase at the anode and cathode respectively; no external mediators are used; and the system design can easily be further miniaturized.

When electrically connected in parallel, the EFCs generated a power output close to the sum of the power generated by each unit, with peak values of 0.7 µW (flow-through mode) and 0.4 µW (batch mode), at a glucose concentration of 27 mM. When the device was fed with transdermal extracts, containing only 30 μM of glucose, the average peak power was proportionally lower (0.004 µW).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-417
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Early online date28 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Enzymatic fuel cell; Glucose oxidase; Laccase; Highly porous gold; Reverse iontophoresis


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