We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Sekisui Diagnostics UK Ltd.

Download Mobile App

Hydrogel-Based Miniaturized Electric Generators to Power Biomedical Devices

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Apr 2024
Print article
Image: Miniaturized electric generators based on hydrogels for use in biomedical devices (Photo courtesy of HKU)
Image: Miniaturized electric generators based on hydrogels for use in biomedical devices (Photo courtesy of HKU)

The development of engineered devices that can harvest and convert the mechanical motion of the human body into electricity is essential for powering bioelectronic devices. This mechanoelectrical energy conversion is vital for devices like cardiac pacemakers, brain stimulators, and wearable drug delivery systems. While there have been numerous attempts to create miniaturized mechanoelectrical converters over the last decade, the challenge to achieve high electrical output along with designs that conform to the body's structure continues to be a significant challenge. Now, researchers have achieved a breakthrough with the development of a high-performance mechanoelectrical energy converter based on hydrogels—water-rich soft polymeric materials—for powering bioelectronic devices.

At The University of Hong Kong (HKU, Pokfulam, Hong Kong), researchers have built an electric generator using an ion-loaded hydrogel placed between two electrodes. When mechanical pressure is applied to this setup, the positively charged ions and negatively charged ions in the hydrogel move at varying rates. This movement results in the separation of electric charges, generating voltage and current that can be harnessed by an external circuit. The team has innovatively used asymmetric designs in the device, significantly boosting the electrical output to levels much higher than previously achieved, specifically 5.5mA/m2 and 916 mC/m2 per cycle. This output surpasses that of triboelectric nanogenerators and other flexible generators by approximately ten times. In their study, the researchers demonstrated a soft patch capable of controlled drug release, highlighting the potential applications of this technology in other biomedical devices such as cardiac pacemakers, wearable health monitors, and interfaces for virtual and augmented reality.

“The key is to use structural and chemical asymmetry to amplify the separation of charges in the ion-loaded hydrogel.” said HKU’s Professor Lizhi Xu, adding, “with these asymmetric designs, the electrical output of the hydrogel generators was enhanced by orders of magnitudes, which is important for the powering of miniaturized biomedical devices.”

“Hydrogels are good body-conformal device structures because they are soft, flexible, and can be designed to mimic the properties of biological tissues. They are highly biocompatible and able to conform to the shape of various tissues in the body.” Professor Xu said.

Related Links:
The University of Hong Kong

Gold Member
Real-Time Diagnostics Onscreen Viewer
GEMweb Live
Gold Member
12-Channel ECG
Silver Member
Wireless Mobile ECG Recorder
12-Channel PC-Based EKG
Avante Velocity EKG

Print article


Critical Care

view channel
Image: The largest scale analysis compared longer-term percutaneous devices for aortic valve replacement versus surgery (Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock)

Transcatheter Valve Replacement Outcomes Similar To Surgery, Finds Study

A new study has shown that a minimally invasive procedure for replacing the aortic valve in the heart—known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)—is on par with the more traditional surgical... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The portable, handheld BeamClean technology inactivates pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Partners)

First-Of-Its-Kind Portable Germicidal Light Technology Disinfects High-Touch Clinical Surfaces in Seconds

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) remains a pressing issue within global healthcare systems. In the United States alone, 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually, leading to approximately... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: The Quantra Hemostasis System has received US FDA special 510(k) clearance for use with its Quantra QStat Cartridge (Photo courtesy of HemoSonics)

Critical Bleeding Management System to Help Hospitals Further Standardize Viscoelastic Testing

Surgical procedures are often accompanied by significant blood loss and the subsequent high likelihood of the need for allogeneic blood transfusions. These transfusions, while critical, are linked to various... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.