Office for Technology Commercialization

Renewable and Biocompatible Energy Source for Implantable Devices

Technology #20170193

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
PiezoelectricPeptide Microrod
Rusen Yang, PhD
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
External Link (
Ren Zhu
Managed By
Kevin Nickels
Technology Licensing Officer 612-625-7289
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed
Self-assembly of diphenylalanine peptide with controlled polarization for power generation
Nature Communications, 13566, 18-Nov-2016

Self-assembly of Diphenylalanine Peptide

A new process grows diphenylalanine (FF) peptide microrods with fully controlled, uniform polarization on a seed film with electric field for power generation. The piezoelectric properties of this technology use motion within the body to provide self-sustainable power generation for implantable devices. The process includes three essential elements:

  1. a thin film serves as a seed to grow microrods in the same out-of-plane direction,
  2. an out-of-plane microrod array where applying electric field during the growth controls polarization (either upward or downward), and
  3. a pair of electrodes that connect the two ends of the microrods array to the external electrical circuit.

Biodegradable Peptide with Fully Controlled Polarization

Peptides are especially desirable due to their biocompatibility, functional molecular recognition and unique biological and electronic properties. While the strong piezoelectricity in diphenylalanine peptide expands its technological potential as a smart material, its random and unswitchable polarization has limited its potential as a piezoelectric device. Devices enabled by peptides with controlled piezoelectricity provide a renewable and biocompatible energy source for biomedical applications and open up a portal to the next generation of multi-functional electronics compatible with human tissue. The diphenylalanine peptide microrods overcome these limitations by providing a power source for remote or implanted electronic devices with minimal maintenance and low cost for implantable applications requiring biodegradability and biocompatibility. The peptides are biocompatible and biodegradable, easily scalable, and their outputs exceed other bio-inspired generators, and are comparable (or better than) some inorganic material based generators.


  • Diphenylalanine (FF) peptide microrods
  • Fully controlled, uniform polarization on a seed film with electric field for power generation
  • Piezoelectric properties use motion within the body to provide self-sustainable power generation for implantable devices
  • Biocompatible and biodegradable
  • Self-sustainable power source
  • Output exceeds other bio-inspired generators and is comparable (or better than) some inorganic material based generators
  • Easily scalable


  • Cardioverter defibrillators
  • Pacemakers
  • Neurostimulators
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Power generation/batteries (for implantable devices)

Phase of Development - Proof of concept: materials synthesized, device fabricated, power density characterized.

Interested in Licensing?
The University relies on industry partners to scale up technologies to large enough production capacity for commercial purposes. The license is available for this technology and would be for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the issued patents. Please contact Kevin Nickels to share your business needs and technical interest in this technology and if you are interested in licensing the technology for further research and development.