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Biofuel cell operating on activated THP-1 cells: A fuel and substrate study.

Biosensors & bioelectronics (2016-08-09)
Kristina Javor, Jean-Nicolas Tisserant, Andreas Stemmer

It is known that electrochemical energy can be harvested from mammalian cells, more specifically from white blood cells (WBC). This study focuses on an improved biofuel cell operating on phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) activated THP-1 human monocytic cells. Electrochemical investigation showed strong evidence pointing towards hydrogen peroxide being the primary current source, confirming that the current originates from NADPH oxidase activity. Moreover, an adequate substrate for differentiation and activation of THP-1 cells was examined. ITO, gold, platinum and glass were tested and the amount of superoxide anion produced by NADPH oxidase was measured by spectrophotometry through WST-1 reduction at 450nm and used as an indicator of cellular activity and viability. These substrates were subsequently used in a conventional two-compartment biofuel cell where the power density output was recorded. The material showing the highest cell activity compared to the reference cell culture plate and the highest power output was ITO. Under our experimental conditions, a power density of 4.5μW/cm2 was reached. To the best of our knowledge, this is a threefold higher power output than other leukocyte biofuel cells.

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Serotonin, analytical standard