In a method of generating electricity, a plurality of living cells are grown on an array of piezoelectric nanowires so that the cells engage the piezoelectric nanowires. Induced static potentials are extracted from at least one of the piezoelectric nanowires when at least one of the cells deforms the at least one of the piezoelectric nanowires. A cell-driven electrical generator that includes a substrate and a plurality of spaced-apart piezoelectric nanowires disposed on the substrate. A plurality of spaced-apart conductive electrodes interact with the plurality of piezoelectric nanowires. A biological buffer layer that is configured to promote growth of cells is disposed on the substrate so that cells placed on the substrate will grow and engage the piezoelectric nanowires.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with support from the U.S. government under grant number DE-FG02-07ER46394, awarded by the Department of Energy and grant number NCC3-982, awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and grant number IU54CA 119338, awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The government may have certain rights in the invention.