Current generation by mediated enzyme electron transfer at electrode surfaces can be harnessed to provide biosensors and redox reactions in enzymatic fuel cells. A glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell can provide power for portable and implantable electronic devices. High volume production of enzymatic fuel cell prototypes will likely require printing of electrode and catalytic materials. Here we report on preparation and performance of, completely enzymatic, printed glucose/oxygen biofuel cells. The cells are based on filter paper coated with conducting carbon inks, enzyme and mediator. A comparison of cell performance using a range of mediators for either glucose oxidase (GOx) or aldose dehydrogenase (ALDH) oxidation of glucose at the anode and ABTS and a fungal laccase, for reduction of oxygen at the cathode, is reported. Highest power output, although of limited stability, is observed for ALDH anodes mediated by an osmium complex, providing a maximum power density of 3.5 μW cm− 2 at 0.34 V, when coupled to a laccase/ABTS cathode. The stability of cell voltage in a biobattery format, above a threshold of 200 mV under a moderate 75 kΩ load, is used to benchmark printed fuel cell performance. Highest stability is obtained for printed fuel cells using ALDH, providing cell voltages over the threshold for up to 74 h, compared to only 2 h for cells with anodes using GOx. These results provide promising directions for further development of mass-producible, completely enzymatic, printed biofuel cells.
Jenkins, P., Tuurala, S., Vaari, A., Valkiainen, M., Smolander, M., & Leech, D. (2012). A comparison of glucose oxidase and aldose dehydrogenase as mediated anodes in printed glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cells using ABTS/laccase cathodes. Bioelectrochemistry, 87, 172-177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bioelechem.2011.11.011