My research involves engineering applications of biofuel cells. Biofuel cells convert chemical energy to electricity using enzyme catalysts instead of precious metals. They can be used to power portable electronics and implantable devices. My first project was to design and test a microfluidic biofuel cell that used a flow-through bioanode and an air-breathing cathode. The biofuel housing and seals were laser-cut from poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and silicone sheets. The biofuel cell achieved a maximum current and power density of 705 µA/cm2 and 146 µW/cm2. My second project is to design and fabricate a contact lens biofuel cell that could be used to power ocular devices such as an itraocular pressure monitor, glaucoma drug pump, or a retinal prosthesis.
I grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho and moved to Utah during high school. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineer and from the University of Virginia with a master’s in systems engineering. I worked for an aftermarket aircraft parts manufacturer before returning to school to work on a PhD. My wife and I have a two-year-old daughter. We spend most of our free time going on short road trips and hanging out with family.
“Enzymatic Biofuel Cell with a Flow-through Toray Paper Bioanodefor Improved Fuel Utilization”, R. Reid, F. Giroud, S. D. Minteer, B. K. Gale, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 160 (9) H612-H619 (2013).