Tiny New Fibers Draw Power From Wind, Flowing Blood

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2009 11:50 AM CDT
A magnified image of two microfiber brushes. The top one is coated with gold and the bottom one is covered with zinc oxide nanowires. Electrical current is created when the fibers scrub together.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Scientists have developed electricity-generating fibers that can be embedded in clothing and other materials and draw power from the smallest of movements, LiveScience reports. The zinc oxide nanowires are as small as 1/5,000th the width of a human hair and produce energy when they vibrate, even from blood flowing through veins. Cell phones and other personal electronics, not to mention military applications, could be powered.

“This research will have a major impact on defense technology, environmental monitoring, biomedical sciences and even personal electronics,” the lead researcher said. “Quite simply, this technology can be used to generate energy under any circumstances as long as there is movement.”