New Human-Powered Bioelectronics Created By Bioengineers

Bioelectronics involves applying electrical engineering principles to biology, medicine, and health in general.

Scientists, in recent times, in a bid to solve the emerging issue of energy resources, have taken research further by experimenting with other possible energy sources. The civilization of the human race has constantly been enhanced by energy resources (burning of fossil fuel, use of gas, electricity etc.). However, unlike best online casino reviews, energy resources are not so easy to come by in substantial and consistent amounts. Therefore, for sustainability’s sake, it is imperative to harness all possible ways of making more energy available for use. Therefore, we have adopted new energy sources, including solar energy, water, and wind energy. In addition to these environmentally sustainable energy sources, scientists have found that energy from the human body is another potential sustainable energy source.

This article will present all up to date results of scientific researches and modern bioengineering developments.

  1. Bioelectronics
  2. Human Energy
  3. Recent Human-Powered Bioelectronics
  4. Working Mechanism

What Is Bioelectronics?

Bioelectronics, as the name suggests, has to do with interactions between biology and electronics. It comprises a wide range of topics and applications, but the basic idea is the application of electronics to solve biological problems. The application also extends to general medicine and security.

Human Body’s Energy

The discovery of cheap wearable sensors capable of monitoring heart rate and body temperature, blood sugar levels, and levels of metabolic byproducts has allowed scientists and medical practitioners to monitor human health in more improved ways (ways probably thought impossible). Like all electronics, however, wearable sensors require a power source. Of course, batteries would be a suitable power source, but the bulkiness, heaviness, tendency to run out defeats the purpose.

Transmitting power to wearable devices usually would rely on wire connections or batteries. However, the movement restriction that comes with wire connections and the need for recharging with batteries made it imperative to look further for sustainable energy sources in powering such wearable devices.

In a bid to create self-powered bioelectronic devices, researchers experimented with the human body as a medium to simultaneously recover and power devices at the waist, the wrist, the arm, the ankle, and the thigh from a single power source.

The human body makes energy from the intake of food and uses the energy to carry out all body functions. There, however, is still some energy lost from the human body to the environment. Trapping the energy and converting it into other uses has been the basis of bioengineers’ research for some time now.

Recent Human-Powered Bioelectronics Created by Bioengineers

UCLA Samueli School of bioengineering presented an innovation through a group of bioengineers working in the institution. The bioengineers made a self-powered bioelectronics device. The new tech converts movements by humans into electricity. The movements include intentional ones such as elbow bending and seemingly little ones like wrist pulse. The electricity, while not enough for huge use, can power wearable and implantable sensors.

Their findings showed that the magnetoelastic effect (explained as the change of the amount of material magnetized when tiny magnet particles are repeatedly pushed together and pulled apart by mechanical pressure) is achievable in a soft, flexible system. The engineers used microscopic magnets that have been dispersed in a silicone matrix to make a magnetic field whose strength changes with the undulation of the matrix. In essence, a shift in the magnetic area produces corresponding electrical energy.

A publication by nature materials revealed what the scientists found after their research, where they demonstrated the theoretical model behind the discovery. The scientific journal Nature also highlighted the discovery.

According to Jun Chen, an assistant professor of bioengineering at UCLA Samueli and the leader of the research squad, their findings pave a new way for practical energy, sensing, and techs majorly centred on the human body, which also has a root in IO (Internet of Things). He opines that the technology is unique because it gives people the chance to stretch and move with comfort and without restriction when the device gets pressed against human skin. Also, sweat and humidity do not in any way comprise the effectiveness of this tech.

Working Mechanisms

Chen, with his team, worked on building a small but flexible magnetoelastic generator. The generator comprises platinum-catalyzed silicone polymer matrix and neodymium-iron-boron nanomagnets. Next, they fixed it to the elbow of a subject with a soft, flexible band of silicone. On observing the experiment, the magnetoelasticity they got turned out to be four times greater than setups of similar size with rigid alloys of metal. In addition, the device produced 4.27 milliamperes per square cm of electric currents, which is better in multiple folds than the likely comparable tech.

The produced magnetoelastic generator is extra sensitive, capable of converting waves of the human pulse into electric signals, and works as a self-powered heart-rate monitor. The electricity generated is also enough to power other wearable devices, like the thermometer or a sweat sensor.

For a very long time, scientists have tried to make wearable generators capable of harvesting energy from the human body’s movements to power light energy using sensors and some other devices. However, this effort had proven futile so many times for a reason they tagged “non-practicality”. For instance, the level to which a rigid metal alloy with magnetoelastic effect bends is not enough to compress against the skin and produce a substantial amount of energy for some sophisticated use.

Some other devices that rely, for their performance, on static electricity are less likely to produce enough energy. Also, sweat init is imperative. For sustainable energy sources, the kin and humid conditions might reduce their performance. Some have made efforts to enclose the devices as a means of preventing water into the devices, but the encapsulation significantly reduces the effectiveness of the devices. The breakthrough of the UCLA bioengineers to produce human-powered bioelectronics is laudable as the wearable magnetoelastic generators worked effectively after a week of soaking them in artificial perspiration.


As stated earlier, bioelectronics involves applying electrical engineering principles to biology, medicine, and health in general; we’ve been able to state the most recent breakthrough of bioengineers in creating self-powered devices.

The tech uses energy from the human body to power devices that monitor the temperature and heart rate. However, this laudable feat notwithstanding has created a big question in the mind of potential adopters of the innovation. The worry is whether or not it has adverse effects on human health. So far, testings of this innovation have been positive and have proven rather beneficial than detrimental to human health.

Apart from bioelectronics being non-harmful, the cheapness of adopting the innovation has been a significant plus for researchers. Work is constantly going on, however, to discover new ways of improving human health with biotechnology.