We have often reported on piezoelectric materials capable of transforming stress into electricity, but so far these materials have had limited abilities like the inability to produce enough energy to be viable or to function if they are a a little wet. That’s all about to change.
A new invention made up of Magnetoelastic generators, composed of a suspended platinum-catalyzed silicone polymer matrix within which are nanoscale neodymium-iron-boron magnets, have been designed to produce soft and flexible self-powered bioelectronic devices.
The technology uses the movements of the human body to power portable and implantable diagnostic sensors. Best of all, it works even when wet, meaning rain or sweat won’t turn it off.
“Our discovery opens a new avenue for energetic, sensing and practical therapeutic technologies that are centered on the human body and can be connected to the Internet of Things,” said study leader Jun Chen, assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of California. at the Samueli School of Engineering in Los Angeles, A declaration.
“What makes this technology unique is that it allows people to stretch and move with comfort when the device is pressed against human skin, and because it relies on magnetism rather than on body. electricity, humidity and our own sweat do not compromise its efficiency. “
Chen and his team further reported that the magnetoelastic effect they observed with their invention was four times that of rigid metal alloy devices of the same size.
In fact, the device generated electrical currents of 4.27 milliamps per square centimeter. This is 10,000 times better than previous conventional technologies.
And many other similar technologies are being tested. Unfortunately, they lack the functionality offered by Chen’s device, either by being too rigid to bend enough to compress against the skin, or by relying on static electricity which does not generate enough energy and suffers from humidity.
Meanwhile, Chen’s portable magnetoelastic generators continued to operate at higher levels even after being soaked in artificial perspiration for a week. Chen and his team have now filed a patent for the technology and are eager to discover useful new applications for it.