Can our cell's mitochondria power a cell phone?

32ATPs R&D Lab (www.labs.32atps.com)
BiologyMaterials Science
DOI: 10.18258/1755
$5,025
Raised
100%
Funded on 9/20/14
Successfully Funded
  • $5,025
    pledged
  • 100%
    funded
  • Funded
    on 9/20/14

About This Project

Batteries create toxic waste, which goes directly into our landfills. 32ATPs has an innovative idea to lessen the environmental impact of energy production and storage for use in our electronic devices, while at the same time increasing the battery life of our handheld devices: by harnessing the power of natural cellular energy production. The goals of this project are to perform basic research on biological energy production and storage.

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What is the context of this research?

Consumer electronic products (like iPhones) are becoming increasingly thinner, more power-hungry, multi-functional and capable of more efficient energy use. The United States is the world leader in producing electronic waste. The continued research and development of greener, cheaper, lighter, more efficient energy storage is required to power our "handheld" devices and to reduce environmental impact. Recent discoveries have shown that we can harness cellular energy production (yes from mitochondria!) in batteries. Using natural, cellular biochemical reactions to generate electrochemical potential promises to reduce the cost of production and size of batteries as well as reduce the toxic metal and chemical components and lessen our impact on the environment!

What is the significance of this project?

Who hasn't had a phone that has run out of battery at that critical time, when you need GPS or need to call home? Traditional batteries underperform in today’s smart devices and are the primary limitation for future development of new features.

In addition, electrical waste not only contains hazardous, but also valuable and scarce materials. An estimated 50MM tons of E-waste are produced each year, and each one of those devices may contain a battery. These fill our landfills and the numbers are only rising!

It is imperative and incumbent on us as a society to reduce our waste from consumer electronic devices.

What are the goals of the project?

The goals of this project are to perform basic research on biological energy production and storage. We have three primary questions that we'd like to answer through this project:

1) Can we use mitochondrial energy production in a super-capacitor the way we have in bio-batteries?

2) How will we maximize charge capacity and rate capability in a biological super capacitor?

3) Can we increase the energy storage of a super capacitor to that of a battery?

Budget

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We are seeking funding to cover the rental of bench space in a life science incubator that provides shared capital equipment (reducing our capital outlay as much as possible) and the reagents needed to test a number of methods for generating biological energy.

Meet the Team

Dr. Carol Lynn Curchoe
Dr. Carol Lynn Curchoe

Team Bio

We are the right team of scientists and leadership to perform this R&D at the interface between materials science and molecular biology, and to successfully bring this much needed innovation to the market. 32ATPs is composed of:

Dr. Carol Lynn George, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 32ATPs has a ten year track record managing scientific laboratories and business processes. Dr. George is the former Utah State Science Advisor and has prior experience in scientific administration and technology transfer as well as translational research.

Dr. Shelley Minteer, the Chief Scientific Officer of 32ATPs and technical lead of 32ATPs, is a Utah Science and Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) researcher and professor of chemistry and materials science and engineering at the University of Utah. Dr. Minteer has over fifteen years of experience in commercializing clean energy research and development.

Dr. Carol Lynn Curchoe

Dr. Curchoe has always had a passion for advancing basic research and discovery. Additionally, Dr. George serves as a true role model for women in the sciences and actively mentors women researchers, staff members and students just getting interested in a career in science. She truly believes that innovation, discovery and creativity at the bench come from having a wealth of life experience and for that reason, particularly advances STEM careers for underprivileged and minority girls. Dr. George, who is self-admittedly from “the wrong side of the tracks” was a high school dropout who eventually excelled in the sciences, obtaining her Ph.D. in just 3 years. Dr. George is committed to developing the STEM education initiatives in Utah. Since relocating to Utah she has been the Utah State Science Advisor, and involved with the Latinos in Action, Expanding Your Horizons Program, Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair and FIRST robotics.

Additional Information


Project Backers

  • 72Backers
  • 100%Funded
  • $5,025Total Donations
  • $69.79Average Donation
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