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Soon you could be charg­ing your smart­phone with your sweaty socks. A team at Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity, State Univer­sity of New York, have cre­ated a fab­ric-based, bac­te­ria-pow­ered bio­bat­tery that could be in­te­grated into wear­able elec­tron­ics.

Ac­cord­ing to the team, the mi­cro­bial fuel cells could be pow­ered by sweat gen­er­ated by the hu­man body, and pro­duce more elec­tric­ity than pre­vi­ous tex­tile bio­bat­tery de­signs, which could be use­ful for wear­ables. “There is a clear and press­ing need for flex­i­ble and stretch­able elec­tron­ics that can be eas­ily in­te­grated with a wide range of sur­round­ings to col­lect real-time in­for­ma­tion,” said re­search lead Dr Seokheun Choi. “If we con­sider that hu­mans pos­sess more bac­te­rial cells than hu­man cells in their bod­ies, the di­rect use of bac­te­rial cells as a power re­source in­ter­de­pen­dently with the hu­man body is con­ceiv­able for wear­able elec­tron­ics.”

The fuel cells use Pseu­domonas aerug­i­nosa, a small rod-shaped bac­terium, along with a pair of elec­trodes cou­pled with a sil­ver and sil­ver ox­ide so­lu­tion to pro­duce elec­tric­ity. The fuel cells were able to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity in a sta­ble man­ner, even when sub­jected to the stretch­ing and twist­ing ex­hib­ited over a long life­time.

This flex­i­ble, fab­ric-based bio­bat­tery could be in­te­gratedinto clothes

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