Binghamton researchers win grant to study generating power from human sweat
The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York for research to generate power from human sweat, the school announced.Binghamton University's Seokheun Choi, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Ahyeon Koh, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, will attempt to generate a practical and longstanding power source from human sweat, which is one of the few available energy resources on the skin, by using the metabolisms of sweat-eating bacteria, according to the article. Koh is a BMES member.
Their project is titled “Power-on-Skin: Energy Generation from Sweat-Eating Bacteria for Self-Powered Electronic Skins.” Electronics skin, or e-skin, refers to flexible, stretchable and self-healing electronics that are able to mimic functionalities of human skin.
Choi said that sweat-based power sources have a lot of potential. Devices that scavenge energy from sweat could be a superior substitute for conventional batteries, energy storage devices and other energy harvesting devices for future e-skin applications, according to the article.
“Among many energy-harvesting devices for e-skins, biochemical energy harvesting from human sweat is arguably the most underdeveloped because of immature technologies,” Choi said in the article. “Nonetheless, excitement is building for scavenging power from sweat, as it is the most suitable energy source for skin-contacting devices. Sweat is readily and constantly available in sufficient quantities, can be acquired non-invasively, and contains a rich variety of chemical and biological entities that can produce electricity.”
E-skins have recently emerged as a novel platform for electronics, taking on more important roles in health diagnostics, therapeutics and monitoring. Stand-alone and self-sustained e-skins are essential to providing reliable, effective and sometimes life-saving functions, and Choi said these devices are the future of technology.
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