New Magnetoelastic Patch Harnesses Power from Wearer’s Movement

The device can derive power from even subtle movements like the pulsating of blood vessels.

Charging implantable and wearable medical devices can be a hassle, especially when you consider the electronics need to be kept dry and protected from bodily liquids. A recent Medgadget article discussed the latest advancement in powering medical wearables that solves these issues. A team of researchers at UCLA have developed a magnetoelastic patch that generates electricity from the movements of the wearer.

The technology stems from the magnetoelastic effect, which occurs when tiny magnets move closer and farther away from each other when the material flexes. This sparks a change in the magnetic field, which creates electricity. The patch is waterproof, and can harness power from simple body movements such as pulsating blood vessels beneath the surface of the wrist. The team even submerged the patch in artificial sweat for a week, and it continued to perform as intended.