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Fuel Cell for Weight Control

Implanted fuel cell to sop up excess ingested calories.
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Researchers are developing fuel cells that use glucose as the hydrogen source. The stated purpose of these is for powering pace makers and other implanted medical devices. In this application they use blood glucose and oxygen as feedstocks and exhaust waste products back into the bloodstream.

In other words these fuel cells are an artificial organ that turn ingested calories, and inhaled oxygen into electricty.

The market for implanted medical devices is microscopic compared to that for weight control.

I propose that large versions of these fuel cells be implanted into the corpulant bodies of persons with an over unity consumption/utilization ratio.

An external control would allow the implantee to turn on and adjust the power output of the fuel cell, and thus the caloric uptake of the device. If the implantee feels that they have ingested 500 calories too much, they can simply tell their implanted fuel cell to use up that much glucose over the course of a number of hours.

A secondary benefit would be the electrical power generated. A small power socket could be placed in the skin in an inconspicuous place allowing the implantee to charge cell phones or lap tops. They could even plug directly into the power grid and act as microgenerators

Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 25 2006

Just google "glucose fuel cell" http://www.google.c...illa:en-US:official
Not microbial, but there are a number of groups working on this. [Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 25 2006]

wware's link http://www.osti.gov...-tRNlA7/ 876287.PDF
[Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 28 2006]


       Microbial fuel cells? Got a link?
Shz, Jan 25 2006

       Hmmm. What is this about this idea that is not attracting the machine oil dripping pens of the Half Bakers?
Galbinus_Caeli, Jan 26 2006

       Perfect, I wouldn't consider myself overweight enough to need a device like this but man would I like to power all my gadgets...
redsimple, Jan 27 2006

       // .. The market for implanted medical devices is microscopic compared to that for weight control.   

       Have a beer   

       Also, consider the affinity of those corpulent folk who deep deep .. deep down are power freaks; the concept of telling their slave DCgestive organ to "power up" would have an effect on them like giving you the television remote control would have on you.
reensure, Feb 01 2006

       Very good one.   

       You might need a vent/excretion port so the fuel cell can have it's waste bypass the rest of the body (so as to not damage the kidneys/liver/colon/etc). You could empty your fuel cell bladder in the bathroom at normal intervals.
sophocles, Mar 06 2006

       Sandia folks are doing the glucose fuel cell research. Their report (http://www.osti.gov/bridge/ servlets/purl/876287-tRNlA7/ 876287.PDF, apologies for not knowing how the link command works) is very interesting reading. I haven't read it exhaustively but my superficial impression is that the prototypes thusfar produce teeny amounts of power, and would therefore consume teeny amounts of glucose.
wware, Jun 28 2006

       Interesting idea. Here's an unintended consequence:   

       Suppose you are poor and fat and you eat junk food. You discover that you can derive income by eating really cheap high-fat food, connecting yourself to the grid and selling your electrical output to the power company... but that this activity is only profitable if you eat really really cheap food, and don't waste that precious glucose by exercising your muscles.   

       I don't know whether the numbers make this scenario feasible, but I just thought I'd mention it.
pertinax, Jun 28 2006


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