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Bacteria! Charge my phone battery? How on earth do you even expect me to believe that, believe it or not science and technology knows no bounds and the sky is a stepping stone when are talking about technological advances.

Bacteria are tiny single-cell microorganisms, usually a few micrometers in length that normally exist together in millions. Bacteria are of different shapes and sizes and are normally known to cause infections and diseases of all sorts and types, can there really be a good side to them, perhaps a source of power.

baterium can helpbacteria coming together


Physicists at Oxford University thought of it that way too and established through a research study that bacteria could serve as an alternative source of power in the nearest future.

Oxford University physicist, Dr Tyler Shendruk,who conducted a  study using computer simulation of a lattice of 64 symmetric micro rotors and immersed into fluid filled with bacteria. They realized that the bacteria organized themselves spontaneously, resulting in the spinning of the rotors,  as a result of this  study  he concluded that the random motion of bacteria could be employed to power microscopic “wind farms” or devices such as smartphones.

“When we did the simulation with a single rotor in the bacterial turbulence, it just got kicked around randomly, but when we put an array of rotors in the living fluid, they suddenly formed a regular pattern, with neighboring rotors spinning in opposite directions”.

“Nature is brilliant at creating tiny engines, and there is enormous potential if we can understand how to exploit similar designs,” senior author, Professor Julia Yeomans explained.

Although the power generated right now is limited and can only be used for micro machines, it is worth looking forward to as smartphone users in regions with erratic or no power supply. It will lighten their tension and  relief  them of the constant tension that comes to mind when the low battery beep signal comes up.

smartphones and bacteria


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