The Process of Bio-Inspired Design

The clipping Power from the people is intriguing at a number of levels.  The original idea of creating a biofuel cell was proposed in the 1970s but languished because the technology available at the time could not generate useable amounts of electricity.  That required a combination of carbon nanotubes and research into metabolic enzymes such as glucose oxidase.  The team working on this project went further, developing a proof-of-concept prototype that was implanted in a rat and working on a scaled up design that can be implanted in a cow. 

This example combines inspiration, basic biological research, emergence of new enabling technologies and a drive to turn the idea in to a practical product.  Each of these steps have their own unique challenges.

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