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Stretchable batteries could power bionic future

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Headlined to H4 2/26/13

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A new, ultra-stretchy battery could be used to power bionic eyes, robotic skins, and other biological implants.
(image by Yonggang Huang)

Our cyborg future may not be far off. An ultra-stretchy battery could one day be used to power bionic eyeballs, brain-wave monitoring devices and robotic skins, new research suggests. The new device, which embeds tiny lithium-based batteries in a silicone sheet, can stretch up to three times its initial length and could be recharged wirelessly. The new battery is described today (Feb. 26) in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers envision the battery being used for wearable gadgets, implantable brain-wave monitors, or other bionic devices. While the new design is incredibly innovative, it wouldn't produce enough power to keep a laptop, or even a large light bulb, running. That means it mainly would be useful for a few narrow applications, such as biological implants that don't require very much power.

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