• Technical Name
  • Ingestible battery coupled with triboelectric nanogenerator for antibacterial function
  • Operator
  • National Chiao Tung University
  • Booth
  • Online display only
  • Contact
  • 林子恩
  • Email
  • telin@nctu.edu.tw
Technical Description Our technique is focused on harvesting the energy generated from the concentration gradient arising from the hydrogels containing different salinity that leads to the flow of ions in the liquid on both the sides, producing an electric current and thus, eliminating the need of using conventional harmful electrolytes & metals. Although, currently, the direct swallowing of this battery is not feasible owing to its relatively larger size, yet this device is ideal for placing inside the oral cavity. In addition, we utilize the nanogenerator to charge the battery, enabling it to re-use.
Furthermore, we demonstrate that this system can be used to kill pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, which pose a threat to human health by causing antibiotic-resistant infections. The effect of the electric treatment of E. coli is obvious. A majority of bacteria was destroyed after 30 minutes. Research papers on this technology are already in the submission stage and patenting is in progress.
Scientific Breakthrough Our technology is very unique and pioneering. We developed an ingestible battery composed of hydrogels with different salinities and ion-selective membranes placed between them. The ions migrate from high-salinity to low-salinity hydrogel; ion-selective membrane enhances the flow of ions to generate electricity. The constituent materials (agarose & gellan gum) are edible, so they are harmless to humans, unlike conventional batteries. Due to its high biocompatibility, non-toxicity and safety to the human body, it can be used as a power source for wide applications. Besides, it becomes fascinating when combined with a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) converting kinetic energy into electrical energy for battery charging. Also, it is promising for tackling pathogenic bacteria, e.g. E. coli.
Industrial Applicability Our technology can be used in many industries, e.g., for energy, medical equipment, clinical dentistry, etc. Battery-operated devices pose a high risk of accidental swallowing of batteries (e.g., button batteries) especially by children, resulting in injuries. The ideal power source should be highly biocompatible & non-toxic. Our technology is promising for being ingestible and safer. Even if this battery leaks electrolyte in the body accidentally, it won’t cause any harm. Besides, it promotes sustainable environmental protection as constituent materials offer high biodegradability. It can be combined with a nanogenerator (TENG) for charging for re-use. We utilized our strategy to kill or inhibit E. coli. In the future, it can be used to kill bacteria in oral cavity to prevent tooth decay.