Power Harvesting From Fabric Electrochemistry

A new method of power harvesting based on electroceutical dressings dampened by a saline solution.

The Need

On-­body electronics, such as wearable and epidermal sensors, are experiencing significant growth. One of the biggest challenges of on-­body electronics is the development or identification of a sufficient power source. To address the former concern, sensors are becoming available with ever-­lower power requirements, and many are already working with only a few microwatts. Though batteries are typically employed for powering on­-body electronics, they are bulky and require frequent recharging or replacement. As an alternative, a number of power harvesting methods have been reported, including Radio Frequency (RF), solar, thermoelectric, and piezoelectric scavenging. Particularly RF power harvesting is becoming increasingly popular for on­-body electronics. However, RF power harvesting requires large antennas, complicated and bulky electronics printed on rigid substrates, and RF sources located in close proximity to the subject. Therefore, it would be desirable to develop a novel method of power harvesting that addresses these concerns.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a new method of power harvesting from electroceutical dressings. Static (DC) voltage and current generated by the electroceutical dressing result in DC power that can be stored in a capacitor and used to power an electronic device (e.g. sensor). The team has also developed a method for connecting multiple electroceutical dressings to generate adjustable power levels.

Commercial Applications

  • On-body electronics
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Wound healing


  • Does not require any complicated or bulky electronics
  • Fabric-based, making it fully flexible and conformal
  • May be enabled via exudates that are readily available on-body (sweat, wound exudate, etc.)

Research Interests

The Ohio State University laboratory that developed this technology has expertise in the design of antennas and sensors for body area applications, including both wearables and implants. The lab is focused on functionalizing fabrics with wireless functionalities for communications and sensing, as well as engineering novel classes of wearable/implantable antennas that exceed the state-of-the-art boundaries of radio-frequency performance. The lab is open for collaboration for further products and investigational routes.

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