UMD team develops what they believe may be the first bio-compatible, ion current battery

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Some people love the smell of freshly cut grass because it signals mental associations with summer. A group of researchers at the University of Maryland love it when the groundskeepers mow the lawn because each cut blade of grass can be used as a cable for a unique battery that can deliver ionic signals to instigate mental impulses. Welcome to science.

Pretty much every battery ever developed in the history of batteries supplies an electric current through a wire. The Maryland team has developed what they believe may be the first battery to ever deliver an ionic current. And because the materials used for most wires (such as metal, carbon, semiconductors, etc.) cannot conduct ions, the researchers had to find materials that could; they’re using things like cotton string, as well as grass they literally went outside and plucked from the campus lawn.

Everyone knows that biological organisms operate on electrical impulses; these impulses are the basis of electrocardiograms (EKGs), electroencephalograms (EEGs), and Keanu Reeves plugging himself into The Matrix. What’s less widely understood is that these biological impulses are ionic, not electric. When a synapse fires, it’s not transmitting electrons, it’s transmitting sodium ions. Similarly, muscle cells fire based on ions crossing ion channels in molecular membranes.  Read more...

Reference: Electronic Products
                  Brian Santo