Researchers of the French National Center for Scientific Research and the universities of Grenoble and San Diego have developed a new, flexible and elastic device that can be worn directly on the skin and generates electrical energy using compounds found in sweat. The cell lit a light-emitting diode. The research was published in the Advanced Financial Materials on September 25, 2019.

The potential uses of wearable devices are steadily increasing, most importantly monitoring the activity of the bodies of patients and athletes. These devices need to develop an effective source of energy that is easily integrated into the human body. The use of biofuels from human organic liquids is a promising technique.

Electric biochemists at the University of Grenoble collaborated with a US team specializing in nanotechnology, biosensors and nanoparticles from the University of San Diego, California. They developed a flexible conductive material, consisting of carbon nanotubes, interlocking polymers and enzymes bound together by rubber conductors.

The biofuel cell, which follows the folds of the skin, produces electrical energy through the reduction of oxygen and oxidation of lactate in sweat. When placed on the arm, a voltage lifter is used to illuminate the LED continuously. The device is simple and low cost.