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A new class of human-powered bioelectronics

Swatches | January 1, 2022 | By:

A team of bioengineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has invented a novel, soft and flexible self-powered bioelectronic device. The technology converts human body motions, from bending an elbow to subtle movements, such as a pulse on one’s wrist, into electricity that could be used to power wearable and implantable diagnostic sensors. The researchers discovered that the magnetoelastic effect (the change of how much a material is magnetized when tiny magnets are constantly pushed together and pulled apart by mechanical pressure) can exist in a soft and flexible system. 

Study leader Jun Chen, an assistant professor of bioengineering at UCLA Samueli, says, “What makes this technology unique is that it allows people to stretch and move with comfort when the device is pressed against human skin, and because it relies on magnetism rather than electricity, humidity and our own sweat do not compromise its effectiveness.” Photo: UCLA Samueli, Jun Chen.

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