Sew this tiny electric power plant onto your heart to recharge your cybernetic enhancements

How's that for a future gazing headline?

The future promises all sorts of exciting things. Justin Bieber could be long-forgotten. Big Macs might actually look like as appetising as they do on the menu. And we could all be augmented with cyborg enhancements.

Whether you're planning on getting X-Ray vision eye implants or a wrist-embedded touchscreen, you're going to need to power them up somehow - and we don't think shoving Duracell batteries into your ears will be the answer.

One solution put forward by a team of scientists is to harvest the energy created by your very own internal organs with a specially designed charger.

Not for the squeamish

The charger itself consists of a piezoelectric power plant strip made from lead zirconate titanate nanoribbons, housed in biocompatible plastic. 

It's able to transform kinetic energy into electricity, which is then stored in a miniature rechargeable battery. 

That means it'll need to be attached to organs that like to move around a lot. Your heart, lungs and diaphragm would therefore be a good place to start.

Currently, the system can produce enough juice to power a pacemaker when sewn directly onto the surface of a beating heart, but the only living creature currently augmented with the heart implant is a cow. Human trials appear to be quite a long way off yet.

Two units can be attached to the same organ and combined to boost their power output, though we're not sure how many you'll need to power Telletubbie-style stomach tablet...


More after the break...

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