Plant-Based Electrical Source

Case ID:

This invention is a plant-based rechargeable battery with all components produced naturally making its operations suitable for flexible, wearable, or implantable applications. It could provide novel electrical-power source directly integrated with wound healing materials for locally stimulating biological reactions with therapeutic effects. These may also be combined with embedded electronic circuitry to actuate, monitor, or control wearable or implanted medical devices. As these materials can be biodegradable, they could also be reducing interventions for the removal of defective or old devices from the human body. It is also foreseeable that culturing plant using hydroponic conditions, these systems could be prepared, assembled, and used on demand which would make them suitable for supporting the needs for space health support during deep space flight missions. 

Paper electronics offer an environmentally sustainable option for flexible and wearable systems which also fits the available printing technologies for high manufacturing efficiency. Paper-based batteries with high volumetric energy density have been demonstrated. However, their printing processing doesn’t satisfy the requirements for a true green eco-friendly fabrication. They still require noble materials mining, paper milling, and solvent-based screen printing. Although these batteries are flexible, they are not biocompatible for being directly implanted into a human body for biomedical use. More recently, it has been reported in the prior art that the cuticle-cellular tissue bilayer in higher plant leaves could function as an integrated triboelectric generator conductor coupler capable of converting mechanical stimuli into electricity. This also revealed that charges can be induced and transported in living plant tissue whereas charges remain unbalanced and trapped on dead leaves. However, these systems cannot be rechargeable which limit their use to direct drive of an electronic device. 


  • Medical devices
  • Novel power source for medical applications
  • Space health support


  • Eco-friendly
  • Flexible
  • Wearable
  • High manufacturing efficiency
  • Rechargeable plant-based battery
  • Biodegradable
  • Potential to reduce interventions for old/defective medical devices
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Katherine Kuhns
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Frederic Zenhausern