The new technologies of apparel opened a unlimited horizons for health care and the study of the human body. By implanting chips, doctors and researchers can make a detailed monitoring of the health of a patient or provide personalized treatment for a specific condition.
However, the main obstacle facing this kind of progress is the issue of the ability of electrically charged to those devices; it is not as simple as charging a cell phone when it comes to give power to a chip implanted somewhere inside of a human body.
A group of scientists from Stanford University took a big step in solving this problem by finding ways to make chips that can be loaded remotely. The researchers found that if they made chips with piezoelectric materials (usually crystals, which produce energy to return to its original shape to be deformed by a mechanical stress), could use ultrasonic waves to exploit this phenomenon. Repeating the same action million times per second, scientists concluded that they were capable to generate sufficient electrical charge to power the sensors.
This chip, in addition to charge wirelessly, owns a small radio antenna that sends the data gathered doctor.
“As small as these wireless nodes have the potential to become the key tool for studying neurological diseases”, explained by Florian Solzbacher, professor of electrical and computer engineering and development of the group.
The next step of this research group is to make this smaller chip. Currently, the prototype that has been developed has the size of a ballpoint pen tip. The researchers’ goal is to achieve as small chips that can create a network of electrodes able to study the brains in laboratory animals on the inside.