Batteries Safe Enough to Eat

By Elizabeth Landau
Apr 30, 2015 6:00 AMNov 18, 2019 11:17 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

The tiny batteries in your remote or key fob are convenient, but to a hungry (or curious) kid, they can pose a threat. The thousands of children a year who swallow them face throat burns, digestive tract damage and even death.

Now a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences details how scientists made working batteries that are virtually harmless inside our bodies.

Researchers coated batteries with a silicon-based material and metal particles, then fed them to pigs. The waterproof and pressure-sensitive coating didn’t hurt the pigs, and the batteries remained functional in small electronic devices.

Senior author Jeff Karp, a biomedical engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, hopes to see scalable prototypes this year.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.