Fish Scales to be Turned into Green Energy for Medical Devices


A team of researchers from Kolkata-based Jadavpur University’s have come up with an innovative technology that will convert raw fish scales into next-generation medical devices that can be implanted inside a human body.

The key component in fish scales known as ‘collagen fibers’ possesses a piezoelectric property that can generate an electrical charge due to mechanical stress. The team has produced a flexible bio-piezoelectric nanogenerator or in simple terms, an energy harvester from it which has electrodes on both the ends and a laminate.

They collected the scales from the fish market and used the demineralization process to make them transparent and flexible. This product reduces e-waste and adds value to the product. What is interesting and cool is the fact that this product will help in producing transparent electronics, biodegradable and even edible electronics.

Their main goal is to implant this device into the heart where the heartbeat helps generate power for the device’s operation. The device shall degrade when no longer needed thus causing no threats, for the heart tissue is also composed of the same element.

S.K Ghosh co-authored the published study in the Journal of Applied Physics Letter in September 2016. The group’s work could potentially be used in transparent electronics, biocompatible and biodegradable electronics, edible electronics.

It can also be used in self-powered implantable medical devices, surgeries, e-healthcare monitoring, as well as in vitro and in vivo diagnostics, apart from its myriad uses for portable electronics. This medical device biodegrade when no longer needed. Since heart tissue is also composed of collagen, this bio-piezoelectric nanogenerator is expected to be very compatible with the heart.

Source: The Hindu | 22 September 2016

Santhini Koshy
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