Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Biotech Power Medicine Science

New Battery Technology Draws Energy Directly From The Human Body (bleepingcomputer.com) 98

An anonymous reader quotes BleepingComputer: A team of eleven scientists from UCLA and the University of Connecticut has created a new energy-storing device that can draw electrical power from the human body. What researchers created is a biological supercapacitor, a protein-based battery-like device that extracts energy from the human body and then releases it inside an electrical circuit â" the implantable medical device. According to a research paper published earlier this month, the supercapacitor is made up by a device called a "harvester" that operates by using the body's heat and movements to extract electrical charges from ions found in human body fluids, such as blood, serum, or urine.

As electrodes, the harvester uses a carbon nanomaterial called graphene, layered with modified human proteins. The electrodes collect energy from the human body, relay it to the harvester, which then stores it for later use. Because graphene sheets can be drawn in sheets as thin as a few atoms, this allows for the creation of utra-thin supercapacitors that could be used as alternatives to classic batteries. For example, the bio-friendly supercapacitors researchers created are thinner than a human hair, and are also flexible, moving and twisting with the human body.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Battery Technology Draws Energy Directly From The Human Body

Comments Filter:
  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Sunday May 21, 2017 @11:38AM (#54459269)

    There's a movie about that, you know? It doesn't end up well for us.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 21, 2017 @12:31PM (#54459505)

      Yeah, as this technology progresses, we definitely want to avoid a hellish, dystopian future where humanity has to sit through two terrible sequels.

    • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday May 21, 2017 @12:47PM (#54459567)

      There's a movie about that, you know? It doesn't end up well for us.

      The division of the company I work for just switched to a matrix management [wikipedia.org] organization style, calling it "The Matrix". They also used a photo from the movie in the power point presentations until someone (okay, several people) pointed out that equating us with interchangeable, disposable batteries really wasn't cool or good for morale. They kept the name though...

      • What's the difference between assimilation and reaccomodation? I forgot. My energy must be depleted.
      • "The Matrix" is copyrighted. They should rename it "The Excel". Oh wait.

        And I guess "The Table" doesn't have the same ring to it.

        • The Grid is more appropriate here. "Be a part of the Grid! Feel the Energy!" might be the slogan of the century.

      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        Red pill sales from the cafeteria vending machines have picked up.

      • by rwyoder ( 759998 )

        The division of the company I work for just switched to a matrix management [wikipedia.org] organization style, calling it "The Matrix". They also used a photo from the movie in the power point presentations until someone (okay, several people) pointed out that equating us with interchangeable, disposable batteries really wasn't cool or good for morale. They kept the name though...

        My deepest sympathies. :-(
        I was at Sun Microsystems in it's final days as management was flailing around, and one of their boneheaded moves was to adopt Matrix MisManagement. What a clusterfuck.

      • Yes but you have to give them an A+ for honesty, now STFU and get your cell back in the battery!

      • You can tell them that since you are now a part of this then you'll likely have to stop commuting to work.

        I'm pretty sure they will misunderstand, but you can chuckle inside as they mentally mark you as uncooperative.

    • Seriously. And they're even calling it "harvester?" At least make the Machines be a bit creative before they decide to start feeding on us...don't just hand them the whole plan in a box.

    • There's a movie about that, you know? It doesn't end up well for us.

      Indeed. A movie. In the singular. Two there are not. Three is right out.

    • I don't know, Love and Energy [imdb.com] wouldn't be so bad, but maybe you're thinking about The Matrix [imdb.com]?
  • by Rothron the Wise ( 171030 ) on Sunday May 21, 2017 @11:38AM (#54459271)

    I just charged my phone to 100% and it only drained 0.005 years of my life!

    • More likely... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by denzacar ( 181829 )

      It would just drain some of your fat. You know... that biological battery technology used by all animals bigger than a bacteria.
      Also, besides being used to reduce fat by the slimmest of margins (Getit?!) it would probably be there to help diagnose various medical issues - perhaps even repair some of them.

      Would that extend people's lives? Remains to be seen.
      There's always a chance that recording oneself while licking an electric socket might become the new craze as people keep giving up smoking more and more

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday May 21, 2017 @11:39AM (#54459277) Homepage

    Having to 'take some time to recharge my batteries" might have to be taken literally now.

  • now we just need "a form of fusion"
  • The idea was when people went to concerts, they wore a thin headband which transmitted your electrical energy to the singer who wore a suit with conductive fibers in it. The more excited the crowd was, the more power the singer received.

    The ending was the woman singer killing herself with the help of the sound/electrical guy by having the suit overload itself.

    Cannot remember the name of the story. It was part of a collection of short stories in a monthly/quarterly book, similar in size to Reader's Digest.

  • Insert Matrix joke here....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess semen would be even an more energy rich liquid? Better start stockpiling immediatly!

    • I guess semen would be even an more energy rich liquid? Better start stockpiling immediatly !

      You could at least have waited to finish typing your post.

  • You need an electric personality to make this new battery work?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    is eat cheeseburgers while playing Pokemon Go?

  • The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them, They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them, And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.
  • Seems we have less obvious crapflooders but even more imbecile, juvenile teenage boys nowadays on /.

    This is, if it ever is implemented, braves the FDA, etc, a real revolution for medicine. All kinds of stuff like pacemakers, implanted insulin pumps simply need this yesterday.

    However it also is the first and most important step to make cyborgs out of humans. All that new cool cyborg tech the Pentagon wants to create its super soldiers needs power to operate and regular surgical procedures simply for changing

  • Some folks call it a Graphene; I call it a Flubber.
  • Everyone keeps talking about devices that turn a small amount of heat into electricity directly. Why not slap a patch of that stuff directly onto someone's skin? Is it that inefficient or low wattage? I mean it'd double as a personal air conditioner basically.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      is it ... low wattage

      Yes.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect
      Hence using an electrochemical effect like a battery instead. Why not since it's to power devices that are already invasive?

  • Which can accumulate a lot of energy in a small and confined space. What could possibly go wrong?
  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday May 21, 2017 @01:04PM (#54459607)

    Raise your hand if you're interested in having something called "the harvester" implanted in your body.

    On the other hand... It would make a good sci-fi horror film. People are implanted with a device made called, "the harvester", made by John Deere (or similar) and are sub-sequentially enslaved by the support contracts because they have no right to repair the devices and removing them is not a survivable option. Oh wait, sounds like a "dark" version of the movie, Repo Men [wikipedia.org] - never mind.

  • It seems to me that removing ions from the bloodstream will have the same effect on larger scales as drinking large amounts of water. The summary is confusing because at one part it is saying it's using body heat and on the other part it's extracting ions from the fluids.

    Using a small stirling-type engine is one thing although I highly doubt you can motivate the body to generate enough heat differentials for the engine without creating a form of inflammation response. Extracting ions from the blood stream i

    • Just ask Trump. The body has a limited amount of energy and you shouldn't waste it by exercising. Now you want to suck up more of it through an electrical device? Not me. No way, no how.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 )

        Well, there is a causal link between a body's energy supplies and mortality rates. I fear it may not be the way the US President believes.

        Sadly my body does have spare energy and I'd be delighted to donate it to reducing my electricity bill.

        Ions in my blood stream are not the way.

  • From the referenced article: "Compared to batteries, supercapacitors also have faster charge-discharge rates, lower internal resistance, higher power density, better cycling stability, and the ability to use external fluids as electrolytes." Have we ever had a supercapacitor that had higher energy density than a lithium ion battery? Is this some amazing new breakthrough in energy density? If so, man, they really really buried the lead.
    • Higher power density is not the same thing as higher energy density. Energy density is the integral of power density over time - they can have higher power density for a shorter period than lithium batteries and still make that statement correct.

      I'm not sure about the external fluids as electrolytes bit, though. Do supercaps use electrolytes? That part sounds more like fuel cells.

  • These batteries want to drain my precious bodily fluids, and I'm not going for it.

  • So how many slaves needed to power a house?
  • So now we can have cybernetic hearts, eye implants, hearing implants and direct brain implants that allow for brains to directly control computers. And now we can power them directly off of the human body. So we either have the Six Million Dollar man or the Borg. I'm not sure which.
  • So society spends all that energy to grow food (tractors for planting, spraying, harvesting, herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, water, shipping, etc) just so that you can eat it and now they want to put something in your body to harvest a minute fraction of the inputs.

  • So they want to extract energy from body heat and charge.
    Very little energy can be extracted this way, so they just fix that by considering using a hypothetical graphene battery that can store a lot of energy.

    But if we had a way to store a shit ton of energy in a very compact battery, surely we wouldn't need recharging our phones on the go using the human body?

  • You can extract energy from a human body, but it's so little it is.damn near useless

    Better off harnessing the movement, which has been done for decades already in commercial application

  • ... And you thought your Samsung phone battery catching fire was a big deal....

    I don't want to be a plane when someone spontaneously combusts because their harvester overloaded.

  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @06:11AM (#54461895)

    Apropos super capacitors - one of the problems with capacitors lies in having to keep the opposite charges apart, which is exactly what the membrane surrounding the mitochondria does, and very well. According to this: http://bionumbers.hms.harvard.... [harvard.edu], the field strength across that membrane is some 30 MV/m (that's Mega-Volt, yes) - IOW, a lot.

  • It would be really cool if this took energy away from you such that you burn fat.

  • Powering implanted devices, such as insulin pumps (while we still need them) pacemakers and other monitoring devices. The implantable cellphone/computer becomes another step closer. Perhaps a two-way communication between the brain/body and various technologies, HUD's, visorless VR environments... who knows?
  • Anger is an energy! :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

Working...