Your Next Tattoo Could Actually Be A Sweat-Powered Battery

When you get your next tattoo, maybe you should think about getting a cool biobattery tattoo that’s powered by your sweat. Sound weird? That’s because it is.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego presented their findings at this year’s National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, showing how a temporary tattoo stamped on your skin can use your sweat to charge electronic devices like your phone or iPod, according to PhysOrg.

Originally, the researchers were looking for an easier way to measure lactate, a chemical your body produces when you sweat. (Doctors measure your lactate levels to gauge bodily fitness.) While removing electrons from the lactate in order to complete the measuring process, researchers found that they had created half a battery.

“This is the first example of a biofuel cell that harvests bodily fluids like sweat,” said University of California, San Diego professor Joseph Wang in a video.

The temporary tattoo contains a sensor that removes electrons from the lactate in your sweat, which creates an electric current. While the current is still too weak to power electronic devices, the researchers plan to keep modifying and improving the tattoo technology until it is strong enough to charge your phone as you exercise.

“The current produced is not that high, but we are working on enhancing it so that eventually we could power some small electronic devices,” UC’s Wenzhao Jia told PhysOrg.


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