Organic battery can turn implants’

The queen’s University of Belfast

The queen’s University of Belfast, the scientists have designed a new flexible organic battery that could revolutionize the way medical implants are under tension.

Devices such as pacemakers are currently equipped with a rigid metal-based batteries, which can cause discomfort.

The battery is expected to last three times longer than their conventional counterparts.

As it is decomposable, the organic battery is also expected to have benefits for the environment.

Research leader Dr Geetha Srinivasan, from Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) research centre, said that the device was also non-flammable and had no leak issues.

She said, “flexible supercapacitor” could be used to power sensors such as pacemakers.

The queen’s University of Belfast

“In medical devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators, there are two implants, one that is mounted in the heart and the other holding the base metals, rigid batteries – which is implanted under the skin,” said Dr. Srinivasan.

“The implant under the skin is connected to the unit and may cause patient discomfort as it rubs against the skin.

“For this reason, the batteries must be compatible with the human body and, ideally, we would like to be flexible so that they can adapt to the shape of the body.”Foldable laptops?

Dr Srinivasan said the new battery would be safer than the batteries currently in use.

“It avoids the use of flammable solvents, therefore, you do not have a danger of explosion,” she said.

The queen’s University of Belfast

The technology could also have a medical application in bending the phones or laptops of the future, the models that are currently limited by the rigidity of the batteries.

“Everyone wants to go light and everyone wants to be flexible,” Dr. Srinivasan said.

“If the battery goes flexible of all of the electronic and equipment can go flexible, it is interesting and exciting.”

While the batteries contain toxic substances that are difficult to recycle, organic batteries would simply decompose over time.

The new device would be manufactured with organic composites using natural raw material” (biomaterials such as cellulose) rather than expensive metals or semi-conductors.

But there is no danger of the batteries of organic decomposition in the human body as they do not begin to decompose at temperatures above 270C.

With the right financing in place, Mr. Srinivasan says the devices can easily be marketed – so that it could be powering phones or similar devices in the next five years.