Recently, a review article by the team of Prof. Fan Yubo from the School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering of Beihang University and Advanced Innovation Center for Biomedical Engineering and the team led by Academician Wang Zhonglin and a research fellow Li Zhou, who are from Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, was published in Advanced Functional Materials. The article systematically summarizes the current state of development and understanding of wearable and implantable Triboelectric Nanogenerators (TENGs) and related applications in portable electronic devices. The article points out that it is necessary to develop better anti-interference and adaptive systems for the wearable TENGs, which works as active sensors in case of bad environment, while the implantable TENGs should respond to challenges like long-acting bio-security, effective immobilization and minimally invasive operation and so on. Feasible solutions are also provided in the article. Liu Zhuo, a PhD student from Beihang University is the first author of the article.
Portable electronic devices like wearable and implantable ones are being more widely used in daily life and clinical care, especially with the trend that such devices are becoming more intelligent with smaller size, more functions and greater flexibility.
However, the fact that batteries should be charged or changed frequently hinders the development of portable electronic devices. The intractable problem poses challenge particularly to implantable medical devices for clinical uses including pacemakers, brain pacemakers and neurostimulators. Besides, to change battery in such cases, patients have to face potential surgical risks due to reoperation and cover expensive medical expenses. Therefore, it is urgent to come up with practical solutions to provide safe, environmental friendly and sustainable energy for these portable electronic devices. The TENG based on the coupling between triboelectric effect and electrostatic induction can effectively convert mechanical energy into electric energy, which offers a feasible solution for the energy supply.
With the rapid development of advanced functional materials and nanotechnology, greater breakthrough is bound to be made in wearable and implantable TENGs. It is expected that the TENG will not only supply energy for portable electronic devices but also work as an active sensor to receive and analyze physiological signals.
The research was supported by National Key R&D Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, China Postdoctoral Science Fundation, Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission and the National Young Top-Notch Talent Program.
Reported by Guo Meng
Edited by Jia Aiping
Reviewed by Han Huiyu
Translated by Xiong Ting