(2m) Bioresorbable Batteries for Self-Powered Bioelectronics and Medical Devices | AIChE

(2m) Bioresorbable Batteries for Self-Powered Bioelectronics and Medical Devices


Zhang, Y. - Presenter, Georgia Institute of Technology
Rogers, J. A., Northwestern University

While conventional batteries are widely used for energy storage, they are often non-degradable, use toxic components, and are harmful to the environment and humans, which discourages their use in biocompatible applications. As energy demand continues to soar, the need for viable environmentally friendly, implantable, and bioresorbable battery solutions is required, which are limited in translational application due to their low operating voltage and energy density in contrast to conventional batteries. Bioresorbable materials fully degrade after a period of stable operation in the human body and/or environment, minimizing waste after delivering reliable performance. The emergence of bioresorbable materials in recent years presents an opportunity to develop bioresorbable batteries, which can safely power on-body electronics with minimal risk and be safely disposed of after use. For bioresorbable batteries, no retrieval surgery is required after the electronic system performs the designated function. In this presentation, we will introduce different types of bioresorbable batteries and compare their operating voltage and energy density. Demonstrations with our bioresorbable batteries span a spectrum of energy-demanding applications, including cardiac pacemaking in live animal models, powering Bluetooth modules and microcontrollers, and operating as a heating element.

Research Interests

In my PhD, my research mainly focused on developing safe rechargeable batteries, including zinc aqueous batteries and lithium-ion solid-state batteries, serving as safe alternatives to meet the need of rising global energy demand. For my postdoc, I expanded my expertise from electrochemistry to bio-integrated medical device design and fabrication with research experience on soft materials, bioresorbable/transient materials, bio-integrated device design, drug delivery technology, microfluidics, biomarker assays, and so on.

In my future research, I am interested in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary works focusing on bio-inspired and bio-integrated technologies, including (1) electrotherapeutic devices, e.g., short-term bioresorbable cardiac pacemakers, nerve regenerator, nerve conduction block device, temporary diaphragm pacemaker, spinal cord stimulator, and so on, (2) multifunctional and precisely controlled drug delivery device, (3) soft electronics for physical and mental health monitoring, and so on.

Teaching Interests

I am able to teach Introduction to Chemical Engineering, Principles of Chemical Engineering, Thermodynamics, Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design, and some other compulsory courses in the Department of Chemical Engineering. In addition, I am also interested in teaching electrochemistry-, bioengineering-, and nanotechnology-related elective courses.