Publication Details

Jia, X., Wang, C., Zhao, C., Ge, Y. & Wallace, G. G. (2016). Toward biodegradable Mg-air bioelectric batteries composed of silk fibroin-polypyrrole film. Advanced Functional Materials, 26 (9), 1454-1462.


Biodegradable active implantable devices can be used to diagnose and/or treat disease and eventually disappear without surgical removal. If an "external" energy source is required for effective operation then a biocompatible and biodegradable battery would be ideal. In this study, a partially biodegradable Mg-air bioelectric battery (biobattery) is demonstrated using a silk fibroin-polypyrrole (SF-PPy) film cathode coupled with bioresorbable Mg alloy anode in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) electrolyte. PPy is chemically coated onto one side of the silk substrate. SF-PPy film shows a conductivity of ≈1.1 S cm−1 and a mild catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction. It degrades in a concentrated buffered protease XIV solution, with a weight loss of 82% after 15 d. The assembled Mg-air biobattery exhibits a discharge capacity up to 3.79 mA h cm−2 at a current of 10 μA cm−2 at room temperature, offering a specific energy density of ≈4.70 mW h cm−2. This novel partially biodegradable battery provides another step along the route to biodegradable batteries.

Grant Number

ARC/CE140100012, ARC/FL110100196