I know this question is kinda weird, but there is a real problem with prosthesis and implants inside or outside of you, normally they need a source of energy.

If you extract the energy from your own body the same way a organ would do (like an artificial heart), you wouldn't need to concern about a battery inside you that could explode or just stop working.

Also, this maybe could led to biotechnological prosthesis that wouldn't need to rely on electronic parts to execute functions or simulate touch at some degree.

Well, the best I can think of is an artificial muscle made by the MIT that can generate energy from being exposed to humidity. So, exposing it to your humidity (sweat or a little of blood).

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    $\begingroup$ I mean, if the "battery" can absorb sugar from the bloodstream, break it down into ATP like our cells normally do and make use of it for energy like the biological equivalent would, then yes. The problem is getting such a battery. $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2021 at 22:32
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    $\begingroup$ When you take your 180 pound body on a 30 mile hike, all the energy F=ma is indeed from your own body, so obviously you body CAN supply enough energy to do it. The catch is, the prosthetics have to be as efficient at using that energy as your body is, without any energy losses in conversion. We are not even close, to that yet. $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2021 at 22:48
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    $\begingroup$ A quick search for "artificial muscle developed by MIT" gives a article about fibres with different thermal expansion coefficients, that contract when exposed to heat (not humidity). While it appears to be a promising means of turning heat into mechanical energy for prosthetic applications, there still needs to be a powered heat source. $\endgroup$ Apr 12, 2021 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for that, very interesting. Text version (linked from the video) news.mit.edu/2013/… provides a little more detail. Note that the prototype system generates 5.6 nanowatts, which won't move a person or limb very far (although it is not specified how large it is). $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2021 at 0:42
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    $\begingroup$ Yes it's possible since our muscles do it all the time. But this is like...molecular engineering capable of producing molecular machinery on a macro-scales levels. We are nowhere near that. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Apr 13, 2021 at 0:47

2 Answers 2


Using micro elecrics.


This "boasts" a 20% efficiency ratio, which is kind of high for such small systems (according to the article). Besides the flow of blood it can also use the flow of fluids caused by your movements, so in some cases it can be used to create energy out od your movement (Stillsuits anyone?)

In support of DyingLight's answer, chemical power generation using sugars seems a solid option: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rbth.com/science-and-tech/327650-russian-scientists-electricity-from-blood/amp

Note that this wont be powering anything like a full prostetic leg, just something small like a pacemaker.

Then for something outlandish that requires some genetic engineering: muscle powered dynamo's.

A muscle is essentially two "plates" with a fiber in the middle. This fiber has arms which can use ATP to grab extrusions on the plates and pull itself onwards. In the middle of the muscle all arms can grab the plates while at the maximum extention/contraction states not all arms can help pull, which reduces the maximum muscle strength at those positions.

But with some genetic engineering, you can put the plates on a circle that turns either a dynamo or more directly some gears. With a circle the arms will always have full access and can generate as much power as any muscle. So if you put enough of them in a row you can turn the biochemical muscle energy into the kinetic/electric energy you need.

*I have no idea of the accuracy of this article.


Glucose Fuel Cells

The glucose in our blood can be used in fuel cells to generate electricity. The reactions involved look like this:

C6H12O6 + H2O → C6H12O7 + 2H+ + 2e- + O2 + 2H+ + 2e- → H2O

Different options for designing the system are solid-state fuel cells, solid-state fuel cells that use enzymes to achieve better efficiencies, and actually living fuel cells, which use microbes.

That second design has demonstrated power densities of up to 3.6W/cm^2. That's rather pitiful, but keep in mind that those are prototypes.


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