Insect biofuel cells using trehalose included in insect hemolymph leading to an insect-mountable biofuel cell

Biomed Microdevices. 2012 Dec;14(6):1063-8. doi: 10.1007/s10544-012-9706-z.


In this paper, an insect biofuel cell (BFC) using trehalose included in insect hemolymph was developed. The insect BFC is based on trehalase and glucose oxidase (GOD) reaction systems which oxidize β-glucose obtained by hydrolyzing trehalose. First, we confirmed by LC-MS that a sufficient amount of trehalose was present in the cockroach hemolymph (CHL). The maximum power density obtained using the insect BFC was 6.07 μW/cm(2). The power output was kept more than 10 % for 2.5 h by protecting the electrodes with a dialysis membrane. Furthermore, the maximum power density was increased to 10.5 μW/cm(2) by using an air diffusion cathode. Finally, we succeeded in driving a melody integrated circuit (IC) and a piezo speaker by connecting five insect BFCs in series. The results indicate that the insect BFC is a promising insect-mountable battery to power environmental monitoring micro-tools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioelectric Energy Sources*
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Cockroaches / metabolism*
  • Diffusion
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes
  • Equipment Design
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Oxidase / metabolism
  • Hemolymph / metabolism*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Trehalase / metabolism
  • Trehalose / metabolism*


  • Trehalose
  • Glucose Oxidase
  • Trehalase
  • Glucose