Technology 2 min read

Wearable Electronic Device Uses Sweat to Produce Electricity

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Scientists at the Université Grenoble Alpes teamed up with colleagues at the University of San Diego to develop a wearable electronic device that generates electricity from your sweat.

Wearable electronics are trendy right now. According to Accenture, consumer use of wearables in the United States jumped from 9 percent in 2014 to about 33 percent in 2018.

Whether it’s athletic monitoring or health, consumers now depend on this technology to collect their health and exercise data. So, it becomes necessary to develop a reliable and efficient energy source to maximize the devices’ capabilities.

Well, researchers have been some-what successful in this attempt.

For example, we can now power wearables using just our blood flow, and another device harvests energy from knee movement. We even saw a backpack that generates power via side to side movement.

Then some researchers decided to take it even further. And this led to the use of biofuels that are already present in human organic liquid – for example, our sweats – in generating electricity.

A Wearable Electronic Device Powered By Your Sweat

Image of the wearable biofuel cell applied to the arm, powering a diode attached to the black armband on the forearm | Image Credit: CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes

The scientists at the Université Grenoble Alpes teamed up with nanomachines, biosensors, and nanobioelectronics experts at the University of San Diego, California.

Together, they developed a unique flexible device that’s capable of transforming the compounds present in the human sweat into electrical energy. The device consists of carbon nanotubes, enzymes, and crosslinked polymers, which are connected through a printed stretchable connector.

So, how does it work?

The biofuel cell produces electrical energy by reducing oxygen and the lactase present in sweat. On a user’s arm, the device would use a voltage booster to power an LED continuously.

The wearable electronic device is relatively simple and cost-friendly. According to the researchers, the primary cost of production is the enzyme that converts the compound in the sweat.

Now, the researchers are looking to power larger portable devices by amplifying the voltage which the biofuel cell provides. With any luck, it could eventually power more than an LED.

The researchers published their paper in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Read More: Researchers Develop Soft Wearable Health Monitor For Children

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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