Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel energy-harvesting device capable of efficient electrochemical strain energy harvesting at frequencies as low as 0.01 Hz. The device enables the harvesting of energy produced from low frequencies associated with human motion such as walking and sitting.
Conventional ambient mechanical energy harvesting systems are capable of capturing energy at high frequencies (> 10 Hz) produced by piezoelectric and triboelectric materials. However, their performance drastically drops at low frequencies (< 5 Hz), which is where virtually all human motion occurs. Consequently, it is impossible to efficiently leverage human motion for energy using current technology. The proposed device overcomes this with ultrathin materials that respond to small potential differences created during the mechanical bending and pressing motions of humans.
While light is now commonly used to treat acne and cancer, this technology improves the effectiveness of PDT by co-administering a small-molecule therapeutic. This therapeutic activates the overproduction of growth-essential photosensitizers specifically in Gram-positive bacteria like P. acnes. Blue light directed at the infection site then excites these photosensitizers, producing reactive oxygen species that destroy the pathogens from the inside.
Potential applications of this technology include fabrics and clothing embedded with an energy harvesting system to power external devices, as well as other media for sensing, tracking, and analyzing human motions.
Technology Development Status
Proof of concept has been achieved and the device has been tested under biomechanical motions. Currently in development of fabrics and textiles impregnated with the device.
Intellectual Property Status: