August 17, 2022

Bioengineers Develop New Class of Giant Magnetoelastic Effect Human-Powered Bioelectronics

The researchers found that the magnetoelastic result, which is the change of how much a product is magnetized when tiny magnets are continuously pressed together and pulled apart by mechanical pressure, can exist in a flexible and soft system– not simply one that is rigid. Chen and his team built a small, flexible magnetoelastic generator (about the size of a U.S. quarter) made of a platinum-catalyzed silicone polymer matrix and neodymium-iron-boron nanomagnets. The magnetoelastic effect they observed was four times higher than similarly sized setups with stiff metal alloys. The UCLA groups unique wearable magnetoelastic generators, however, tested well even after being soaked in artificial sweating for a week.
They are both encouraged by Chen, who directs UCLAs Wearable Bioelectronics Group and is part of the UCLA Society of Hellman Fellows.

” Our finding opens a brand-new avenue for useful energy, picking up and therapeutic technologies that are human-body-centric and can be connected to the Internet of Things,” stated study leader Jun Chen, an assistant professor of bioengineering at UCLA Samueli. “What makes this innovation special is that it allows people to stretch and move with comfort when the gadget is pushed against human skin, and due to the fact that it counts on magnetism rather than electrical energy, humidity and our own sweat do not compromise its efficiency.”
Chen and his team developed a small, versatile magnetoelastic generator (about the size of a U.S. quarter) made of a platinum-catalyzed silicone polymer matrix and neodymium-iron-boron nanomagnets. The magnetoelastic effect they observed was 4 times higher than similarly sized setups with rigid metal alloys.
The flexible magnetoelastic generator is so sensitive that it might transform human pulse waves into electrical signals and act as a self-powered, water resistant heart-rate display. The electricity produced can also be utilized to sustainably power other wearable devices, such as a sweat sensor or a thermometer.
There have been ongoing efforts to make wearable generators that gather energy from body movements to power sensing units and other gadgets, but the lack of practicality has hindered such development. Rigid metal alloys with magnetoelastic impact do not bend sufficiently to compress versus the skin and produce meaningful levels of power for viable applications.
Other gadgets that rely on fixed electrical power tend not to produce sufficient energy. The UCLA teams unique wearable magnetoelastic generators, nevertheless, evaluated well even after being soaked in synthetic sweating for a week.
Referral: “Giant magnetoelastic result in soft systems for bioelectronics” 30 September 2021, Nature Materials.DOI: 10.1038/ s41563-021-01093-1.
UCLA Samueli postdoctoral scholar Yihao Zhou and graduate student Xun Zhao are co-first authors of the study. They are both advised by Chen, who directs UCLAs Wearable Bioelectronics Group and is part of the UCLA Society of Hellman Fellows. Other authors are UCLA college students Jing Xu and Guorui Chen, postdoctoral scholars Yunsheng Fang and Yang Song, in addition to Song Li– a teacher and chair of the Bioengineering Department.
A patent on the technology has actually been filed by the UCLA Technology Development Group.

UCLA-designed self-powered, elastic, water resistant magnetoelastic generator for bioelectronics. Credit: Jun Chen/UCLA
A group of bioengineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering has developed a novel soft and flexible self-powered bioelectronic device. The innovation transforms human body motions– from flexing an elbow to subtle movements such as a pulse on ones wrist– into electricity that could be utilized to power implantable and wearable diagnostic sensing units.
The researchers discovered that the magnetoelastic impact, which is the change of how much a material is magnetized when tiny magnets are continuously pushed together and pulled apart by mechanical pressure, can exist in a versatile and soft system– not simply one that is stiff. To prove their principle, the group used microscopic magnets distributed in a paper-thin silicone matrix to generate a magnetic field that changes in strength as the matrix undulated. As the electromagnetic fields strength shifts, electrical power is created.
Nature Materials published today (September 30, 2021) a research study detailing the discovery, the theoretical model behind the advancement, and the presentation. The research is also highlighted by Nature.

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