Innovations in battery technology are extending beyond traditional applications, as demonstrated by experts at China’s Tianjin University of Technology. By leveraging a combination of gold, salt, and the body’s own oxygen, researchers are pioneering body-based batteries with the potential to power life-saving medical devices and even combat diseases.

These remarkable batteries, highlighted in a research summary from ScienceDaily, represent a promising advancement in the field of medical technology. Initial studies conducted on rats have shown the compatibility of this technology within a biological system, without any adverse effects observed. If successfully implemented in humans, these innovative power sources could eliminate the need for surgical interventions when batteries fail in crucial implants like pacemakers and neurotransmitter devices.

Lead study author Xizheng Liu emphasizes the significance of utilizing the body’s continuous oxygen supply to overcome the limitations of conventional batteries. The chemistry behind the Tianjin technology involves sodium and gold electrodes interacting with oxygen in the body to generate electricity. A polymer casing ensures the protection of the device, offering durability and safety.

While further research is needed to optimize power output for medical applications, the successful integration of these implants in rats underscores the potential for generating electricity using the body’s natural resources. Notably, researchers observed the development of blood vessels around the implanted devices, indicating potential benefits in monitoring wound healing and tissue regeneration.

This groundbreaking technology represents a paradigm shift in battery development, aligning with broader efforts to rethink power sources for smaller devices. Innovations like supercapacitors woven into fabric and energy generation from low-speed wind passing over water droplets exemplify the diverse approaches being explored. While the electricity output of these projects may seem modest, they contribute to a larger trend of enhancing battery efficiency and sustainability.

Moreover, beyond powering medical devices, the Tianjin technology holds promise in fighting diseases like cancer. Liu envisions potential applications in starving tumor cells by implanting oxygen-consuming batteries around them or converting battery energy into heat to destroy cancer cells. From serving as a renewable energy source to offering potential biotherapies, the prospects for this revolutionary battery technology are indeed exciting, heralding a new era of innovation in healthcare and beyond.

By Impact Lab