Till date, we have heard that tears are valuable, but now, scientists have proved it.
If high electricity bills make you cry, then you’re already on the way to save more money, and this new research proves that.
Scientists in Ireland have revealed that they can generate electricity from tears – and other human fluids such as milk and saliva.
The process to generate electricity by applying pressure is known as direct piezoelectricity.
Piezoelectricity is a property of materials like quartz that can convert mechanical energy into electricity and vice versa. It is already used to create vibration in mobile phones and ultrasound imaging. The capacity to generate electricity from this particular protein has not thus far been explored.
Because it is a biological material it is non-toxic and could have innovative applications involving medical implants, said Tipperary scientist and lead author of the research findings, Aimee Stapleton.
“Crystals of lysozyme are easy to make from natural sources,” she added.
This breakthrough could one day be used to control the release of drugs in the body using devices capable of taking energy from their surroundings, according to researchers. Such technology could ultimately replace current biomedical machines which contain lead and other toxic chemicals.
The high precision structure of lysozyme crystals has been known since 1965. They are easily made from natural sources.
It is hoped that the discovery by the University of Limerick (UL) research team may ultimately provide an alternative method of controlling the release of drugs into the body. Conventional biomedical devices feature energy harvesters containing toxic elements such as lead.
The research team, based at the Bernal Institute, UL, discovered how to produce electricity by applying pressure to a protein, called lysozyme, found in the egg whites of birds, as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals.
The findings were published Monday in the journal Applied Physics Letters.
Prof Tewfik Soulimane, a report co-author, said although the protein’s structure has been known about since 1965, “we are the first to use these crystals to show the evidence of piezoelectricity”.
The discovery may have wide-reaching applications and could lead to further research in the area of energy-harvesting and flexible electronics for biomedical devices.
Well, all I can say is, Let’s cry more..!!