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Piezoelectric energy harvester utilizing mandibular deformation to power implantable biosystems: A feasibility study

Abstract

This study explores the feasibility of energy harvesting from the deformation of a piezoelectric material attached on the human mandible to power an implantable medical device such as deep brain stimulator. A finite element (FE) model of the human mandible was developed and verified experimentally. A piezoelectric energy harvesting device was designed and fixed onto a synthetic mandible to compare its experimental power output to the simulation results. A novel mandibular loading apparatus was designed to imitate the forces exerted on a mandible during mastication in a lab environment. The peak-to-peak voltages from finite element analysis (FEA) and experiment were 1.7 and 1.0 V. Despite the discrepancy in magnitude, similar voltage waveforms were obtained. A method to maximize the electrical efficiency of the proposed harvesting device was discussed.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by UMB-UMBC Research and Innovation Partnership Grant Program (2016~2017). The authors thank Mr. Danny Joh and Mr. Poojan Shah for assisting in the test setup.

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Correspondence to Soobum Lee.

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Recommended by Associate Editor Won Hyoung Ryu

Richard Fan received an M.S. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2018. He is currently an Engineer at the Department of Defense where his main specialty is finite element analysis of highly dynamic events. His research interest includes biomedical application of a piezoelectronic energy harvesting device.

Soobum Lee received the Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Daejeon, South Korea, in 2007. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore MD, USA. His main research interests include energy harvesting device design, structural topology optimization, and robust and reliability-based design optimization.

Hyun Jun Jung received the Bachelor of Engineering (electrical) from Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, South Korea in 2012. He received his PhD in Electrical Engineering in Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea, in 2017 and then he started a postdoctorate at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, USA. His research interests include design of piezoelectric energy harvesting device, low power management circuit, and piezoelectric transformer.

Mary Anne Melo earned her D.D.S. in 2000 from the University of Fortaleza in Ceara, Brazil, and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Dentistry from the Federal University of Ceara in 2012 for her work on nanotechnology-based restorative materials for dental caries management. Her primary research interests are anticaries strategies to reduce biofilm growth and acid production.

Radi Masri is an Associate Professor at the School of Dentistry and School of Medicine, University of Maryland. He is the Program Director of the Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics and the Director of Research and Discovery Division at the Department of Advanced Oral Sciences and Therapeutics.

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Fan, R., Lee, S., Jung, H. et al. Piezoelectric energy harvester utilizing mandibular deformation to power implantable biosystems: A feasibility study. J Mech Sci Technol 33, 4039–4045 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-019-0749-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-019-0749-4

Keywords

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
  • Energy harvesting
  • Mandible
  • Mastication
  • Implant
  • Piezoelectricity