Graduate Student Jian Shi and Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Xudong Wang
A simulated lung with the piezoelectric PVDF microband (in yellow) that vibrates as air flows past it (Image: EES Blog)
One of the biggest hurdles facing the developers of biological implants is coming up with a power source to keep the implanted devices ticking. We've seen various technologies that could be used instead of traditional batteries (which require the patient to go under the knife so they can be replaced) such as wireless transmission of power from outside the body, biological fuel cells that generate electricity from a person's blood sugar, and piezoelectric devices that generate electricity from body movements or the beating of the heart. Now researchers have developed a device that could be used to generate electricity from a patient's breathing.
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