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Biosens Bioelectron. 2017 Jun 15;92:364-371. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.10.095. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Generation of electrical power under human skin by subdermal solar cell arrays for implantable bioelectronic devices.

Author information

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea; Research Institute for Solar and Sustainable Energies, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea.
2
School of Life Sciences, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea; Haenam Beautis Skin and Laser Clinic, 456-1 Haeri Haenam-gun, Jeollanamdo, 536-809, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School and Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Anatomy, Chonnam National University Medical School, 160 Baekseo-ro, Dong-gu, Gwangju 61469, Republic of Korea.
5
School of Mechanical Engineering, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea; Research Institute for Solar and Sustainable Energies, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), 123 Cheomdan-gwagiro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61005, Republic of Korea. Electronic address: jong@gist.ac.kr.

Abstract

Medical electronic implants can significantly improve people's health and quality of life. These implants are typically powered by batteries, which usually have a finite lifetime and therefore must be replaced periodically using surgical procedures. Recently, subdermal solar cells that can generate electricity by absorbing light transmitted through skin have been proposed as a sustainable electricity source to power medical electronic implants in bodies. However, the results to date have been obtained with animal models. To apply the technology to human beings, electrical performance should be characterized using human skin covering the subdermal solar cells. In this paper, we present electrical performance results (up to 9.05mW/cm2) of the implantable solar cell array under 59 human skin samples isolated from 10 cadavers. The results indicate that the power densities depend on the thickness and tone of the human skin, e.g., higher power was generated under thinner and brighter skin. The generated power density is high enough to operate currently available medical electronic implants such as pacemakers that require tens of microwatt.

KEYWORDS:

Bioelectronic devices; Energy; Human skin; Implantable; Medical electronic implants; Solar cell

PMID:
27836601
DOI:
10.1016/j.bios.2016.10.095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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