In nature there are bacteria that can produce electricity, and this property can be successfully applied in fuel cells of new generation. However, to date, all attempts of such use were not successful.

Now the situation has changed radically – researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) has managed to create a “biohybrid” system inside a special hydrogel, which provides the livelihoods of “electric” bacteria and effective collection of the produced energy.

We are talking about bacteria, known as ecoelectricity. These microorganisms can generate electrons to move them through their outer membrane, and then send outside of the cell. If you learn how to intercept these electrons, ecoelectricity bacteria can become the basis for “real” biobattery.

Bacterial hydrogel

In the study, German scientists have developed a material in the form of hydrogel based on carbon nanotubes and silica nanoparticles that conduct electricity. In this mass of intertwined strands of DNA, was added ecoelectricity the bacteria with a nutrient medium to maintain their livelihoods.

The bacteria began to multiply rapidly, penetrating deep into the pores of the hydrogel, which also established himself as a good conductor. To disable battery scientists have developed a mechanism of adding the enzyme that cuts the DNA strands and breaks the structure of the material.
Source — American Chemical Society