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Japanese innovation: a gel that converts movement into electricity

© Karolina Kaboompics/Pexels

The result of a collaboration between the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS), Meiji Pharmaceutical University and Hokkaido University, this gel of a new kind could produce electricity simply by harnessing tiny vibrations. The researchers published the results of their research in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The direct conversion of mechanical energy into electrical energy is an unusual phenomenon in this scientific field. The gel in question is a so-called piezoelectric material, that is to say that it generates an electric charge in response to stress mechanical. A property that we had already discussed in this article on these zucchini capable of producing electricity.

Flexible sensors to exploit your movements

This innovative gel stands out for its exceptional ability to convert low-intensity vibrations, such as those generated by body movements, into electrical energy. The results show that this can transform frequencies as low as 17 Hz into voltages up to 600 mV. This outperforms current sensors based on electret liquid (a special type of liquid that can store electricity in the same way that a magnet stores its magnetic force) by 83%.

The combination of this gel with highly flexible electrodes suggests the possibility of creating portable sensors capable of drawing energy directly from the movements of the human body. This innovation could completely revolutionize the field of implantable medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers, by providing them with continuous and autonomous power.

What other applications are possible  ?

Beyond the medical sector, researchers are considering applications in the fields of health and robotics, where this gel could power various internal devices through body movements . According to its creators, this gel has a mechanical energy storage capacity 40 million times greater compared to other similar liquids.

En in other words, it is much more robust and durable and capable of absorbing and supporting much higher amounts of energy when it is deformed or subjected to forces. We can only hope that this discovery will prove useful in the coming years and that it will not remain confined to remaining within the four walls of a laboratory.

  • Japanese scientists have developed a gel capable of converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
  • Very sensitive, it can generate electricity from very small movements and is much more efficient than other liquids with similar properties.
  • It could find use in the health and robotics sector.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116