Traditional batteries aren’t ideal for powering wearable health technology. They’re delicate, rigid, and intolerant of moisture and washing. A recent Medgadget article discussed an innovative new battery, developed by engineers at the University of British Columbia, that is both waterproof and pliable. Made of low cost materials, the battery is ideal for wearable devices such as apparel, patches, and watches.
In order to make the battery flexible, the team ground zinc and manganese dioxide into tiny fragments and embedded them into a flexible polymer that was then formed into ultra-thin sheets. The sheets were then assembled and embedded in the same polymer, creating a waterproof shell. In tests, the batteries performed after 39 wash cycles in both home and commercial-grade washing machines.