New study: Melanin conducts enough electricity to enable implantable electronics

What gives us color now may give rise to our cyborg future.

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  • Eumelanin is a mildly conductive type of melanin that produces dark pigmentation in hair, eyes, and skin.
  • Researchers have just found a way to boost its conductivity without adding foreign materials.
  • Eulemanin may be useable as a coating for implanted devices the body won't reject.
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Will Human Skin Revolutionize Batteries?

Melanin, the pigment-producing part of human skin, may change the way batteries are manufactured and used.

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Research by Professor Christopher Bettinger of Carnegie Mellon University and his colleagues reveals that parts of human skin might be crucial to rethinking the manufacture of batteries. Specifically, melanin, the molecule that provides pigment to skin, has been shown to have helpful ion-controlling properties. The complex compound made up of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen might be an unintuitive solution for creating batteries safe for use in human bodies, which is one of Bettinger’s goals.

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