The study’s lead author Amy Stapleton from the University of Limerick

A group of Irish scientists from the Institute of Bernal at the University of Limerick found that when the mechanical pressure on the protein lysozyme, found in egg white and normal tears produced electricity.

The ability to generate electricity when you press known as the piezoelectric effect, which is typical, for example, of quartz crystals that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and Vice versa. Such materials are widely used in resonators and vibrators used in mobile devices or in the deep sonar for ultrasound imaging. Possess piezoelectric effect is also bone, tendons, and wood.

As it turned out, crystals of lysozyme can easily be distinguished from natural sources. According to one of the leading researchers Amy Stapleton, the ability of this protein to generate electricity for a long time was unknown. Studies have shown that the ability of lysozyme to produce electricity is comparable to quartz.

Considering the biological origin of the crystals and the absence of toxicity, they can be successfully used as electroactive and antimicrobial coatings for medical implants.

The opening Irish scientists opens wide prospects for further research in the field of energy and flexible electronics biomedical.

Authors: John Sweeney, Amy Stapleton and Vincent Casiotone — Applied Physics Letters