Researchers have developed the first fully functional biofuel cell whose biocatalysts (enzymes that play a critical role in power generation) directly self-assemble onto the electrodes. In about 5 minutes, enzyme-nanoparticle hybrids added to a biofuel cell solution selectively bind to either the anode or the cathode, and in doing so form the key components of the biofuel cell.

The researchers, headed by Andreas Stemmer, along with Alexander Trifonov and Ran Tel-Vered, all at the Nanotechnology Group at ETH Zürich, have published a paper on the self-assembled in a recent issue of ACS Nano.

"We have demonstrated a self-assembled biofuel cell that provides on-demand that can be switched on and off by a ," Trifonov told "The system also enables electrodes to be reused multiple times with only exchange of the active elements."

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