As digital Health Tech devices become more powerful and versatile, they open up new ranges of applications. In addition to devices worn outside the body, implants can be used to monitor body functions, deliver chemical treatments to specific locations, and more. These smart devices need a source of power, however, and transmitting electricity either with wires or wirelessly is not always practical.
Researchers have developed a new battery technology that relies on non-toxic, biodegradable material. It uses thin film material made from magnesium along with a plastic electrolyte. The battery is encapsulated in silk, which is also biodegradable. In the test, the battery was almost completely dissolved after 45 days. The interesting point of the design is that the battery’s decomposition can be controlled by the number of silk layers used to encapsulate it; more layers result in a longer useful life.
Temporary medical bionics powered by a battery that is eventually absorbed into the body could perform many useful tasks, taking “wearable” technology to a whole new level.