Everything we do generates power — about 1 watt per breath, 70 watts per step. This year, Michael McAlpine of Princeton University and colleagues figured out how to turn locomotion into power by embedding piezoelectric crystals into a flexible, biocompatible rubberlike material that, when bent, allows the crystals to produce energy. Put the crystals in shoes, say, or implant them directly into the body and they could produce enough power to charge personal electronics or internal medical devic
Two Princeton engineering faculty have been named to Technology Review Magazine's list of the top 35 young innovators for 2010. Celeste Nelson, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, and Michael McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, were include in the magazine's annual TR35 list of innovative researchers under the age of 35.
Power-generating rubber films developed by Princeton University engineers could harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices. The material, composed of ceramic nanoribbons embedded onto silicone rubber sheets, generates electricity when flexed and is highly efficient at converting mechanical energy to electrical energy.