Triboelectric Nanogenerator Enabled Body Sensor Network for Self-Powered Human Heart-Rate Monitoring

Heart-rate monitoring plays a critical role in personal healthcare management. A low-cost, noninvasive, and user-friendly heart-rate monitoring system is highly desirable. Here, a self-powered wireless body sensor network (BSN) system is developed for heart-rate monitoring via integration of a downy-structure-based triboelectric nanogenerator (D-TENG), a power management circuit, a heart-rate sensor, a signal processing unit, and Bluetooth module for wireless data transmission. By converting the inertia energy of human walking into electric power, a maximum power of 2.28 mW with total conversion efficiency of 57.9% was delivered at low operation frequency, which is capable of immediately and sustainably driving the highly integrated BSN system. The acquired heart-rate signal by the sensor would be processed in the signal process circuit, sent to an external device via the Bluetooth module, and displayed on a personal cell phone in a real-time manner. Moreover, by combining a TENG-based generator and a TENG-based sensor, an all-TENG-based wireless BSN system was developed, realizing continuous and self-powered heart-rate monitoring. This work presents a potential method for personal heart-rate monitoring, featured as being self-powered, cost-effective, noninvasive, and user-friendly.