The problem with current implantable technology that can typically be found in the medical industry is that they require a power source, such as batteries. This means that there is a possibility that they could run out of power at the most inconvenient of times, but scientists want to fix that.

Recently researchers from the Adolphe Merkele Institute, University of Fribourg, and University of Michigan are looking at the electric eel for inspiration, where they are trying to come up with ways in which they can create an implant that is flexible and also self-powering. This means that one day in the future, implantable medical devices like pacemakers will no longer have to rely on battery packs, but will instead be able to keep powering itself.

So far what they have come up with involves printing thousands of droplets of hydrogel on a sheet, alternating between drops of a saline solution and water. A second sheet with selective-charge hydrogel drops is then placed on top of the first, which in turn creates electricity as the ions move in opposite directions.

According to the researchers, not only will this potentially lead to implants that power themselves, but it could also find its use in other areas of technology, such as AR contact lenses that can power itself, thus keeping its footprint small. However it will probably be a long time before any of this is realized, but it seems that the researchers have the basics down.

Filed in General. Read more about Science.

Related Articles
User Comments