Researchers at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL and the University of Illinois have demonstrated a stretchable lithium-ion battery can power their innovative stretchable electronics. The stretchable electronic devices now could be used anywhere, including inside the human body, they say, powering implantable electronics that could monitor anything from brain waves to heart activity.
They say that they have demonstrated a battery that powers a commercial light-emitting diode even when stretched, folded, twisted, and mounted on a human elbow. The battery can work for eight to nine hours before needing recharging, which can be done wirelessly.
The power and voltage of the stretchable battery are similar to a conventional lithium-ion battery of the same size, but the flexible battery can stretch up to 300 percent of its original size and still function. Details were published online in the journal , Nature Communications.
The team has worked together for the last six years on stretchable electronics, but designing a cordless power supply had been a major challenge. The battery’s stretching process is reversible, and its design allows for the integration of stretchable, inductive coils to enable charging through an external source but without the need for a physical connection.