Scientists Built a Power Generator for Use Inside the Human Body

Imagine charging your phone using the power of your heart. 

Hydropower goes back thousands of years. Today dams and large waterfalls supply green energy to places all over the world. Now, a team of scientists have turned this age-old concept toward new territory, inner space, specifically our own bodies. Could this be used to power the next generation of implants and nanomachines? That’s what researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai had in mind.

In the average lifetime, your heart beats 2.5 billion times, moving about five and a half quarts (5.5 liters) of blood at 3-4 mph (4.8-6.4 kph). This is about the walking speed of the average person. Harnessing such energy could offer significant capabilities. These researchers have passed a milestone. This is the world’s first attempt to use the body as a means of generating electricity. The results of this study were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Hydroelectric power has many advantages. It leaves no carbon footprint. Unlike wind or solar, water is always flowing, and so it remains a constant and reliable source. So too does blood always flow, as long as the person remains alive. Scientists have before surmised that such a generator is possible. Achieving it however, remained difficult. Huisheng Peng and his team came up with a novel approach....more