Recent Advances in Energy Harvesting from the Human Body for Biomedical Applications

Sobianin, Ihor; Psoma, Sotiria and Tourlidakis, Antonios (2022). Recent Advances in Energy Harvesting from the Human Body for Biomedical Applications. Energies, 15(21), article no. 7959.



Energy harvesters serve as continuous and long-lasting sources of energy that can be integrated into wearable and implantable sensors and biomedical devices. This review paper presents the current progress, the challenges, the advantages, the disadvantages and the future trends of energy harvesters which can harvest energy from various sources from the human body. The most used types of energy are chemical; thermal and biomechanical and each group is represented by several nano-generators. Chemical energy can be harvested with a help of microbial and enzymatic biofuel cells, thermal energy is collected via thermal and pyroelectric nano-generators, biomechanical energy can be scavenged with piezoelectric and triboelectric materials, electromagnetic and electrostatic generators and photovoltaic effect allows scavenging of light energy. Their operating principles, power ratings, features, materials, and designs are presented. There are different ways of extracting the maximum energy and current trends and approaches in nanogenerator designs are discussed. The ever-growing interest in this field is linked to a larger role of wearable electronics in the future. Possible directions of future development are outlined; and practical biomedical applications of energy harvesters for glucose sensors, oximeters and pacemakers are presented. Based on the increasingly accumulated literature, there are continuous promising improvements which are anticipated to lead to portable and implantable devices without the requirement for batteries.

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