Queen’s University Scientists have designed a flexible and organic battery, which can power medical implants without causing discomfort to patients. The device, however, is in the initial clinical phase.
Pacemakers are fitted with rigid metallic batteries, which cause discomfort to patients. To overcome the flaw, researchers designed an organic, flexible battery.
According to Dr. Geetha Srinivasan, Research Leader at Queen’s University’s Ionnic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Centre, the device is non-flammable and has no leakage issues. “The organic flexible supercapacitor can be used to power body sensors such as pacemakers,” she added.
The charge in the batteries will last three times longer than conventional batteries. When organic batteries decompose, the device is expected to offer environmental benefits. Also, as organic batteries do not use flammable solvents, the risk of explosion is completely eliminated.
As per the researchers at QUILL, pacemakers and the defibrillators contain two implants–one fitted in the heart and the other one holds the metal-based, immovable batteries. These batteries when in contact with the skin causes discomfort.
Dr. Srinivasan said, “We would like the batteries to be flexible so that they can adapt to body shapes.” “The batteries need to be compatible with the human body,” she added.
The Belfast researchers have been advocating the use of this device for non-medical applications such as foldable laptops or phones. They are expected to replace the applications of a rigid battery.
Scientists at QUILL feel that people want to go ‘lightweight and flexible.’ According to them, the concept of flexible gadgets will be ‘exciting and interesting.’
The organic flexible supercapacitor will be manufactured with organic composites with ‘natural feedstock’ or biomaterials such as cellulose. This will address the issues faced by using batteries containing toxic materials and semiconductors.
Dr. Geetha Srinivasan concluded saying, the device can be produced commercially and can be used to power medical and non-medical gadgets.