A Protein ‘Lysozyme’ Discovered In Human Tears, Egg White and Mammals’ Milk May Help To Generate Electricity

A team of researchers from the Bernal Institute of the Limerick University in Ireland reported in the Applied Physics Letters scientific journal’s October 2 issue that the protein called as lysozyme has an ability to form electricity just by applying pressure. Lysozyme can be found in the human tears, mammals’ milk, egg whites and saliva.

The capability of generating electricity with applying force is known as piezoelectricity.  The piezoelectricity is a well-known process for years that gets applied to the certain material, which is mostly quartz to power the vibrators and resonators in a deep ocean sonars, mobile phones as well as ultrasound imaging.

The discovered substances till the date that can possess piezoelectricity are wood, tendon and bone, which now adds to itself the egg whites, human tears, mammals’ milk and saliva.

Aimee Stapleton, a lead author of study from the University of Limerick said in her statement that, “While piezoelectricity is used all around us, the capacity to generate electricity from this particular protein had not been explored. The extent of the piezoelectricity in lysozyme crystals is significant. It is of the same order of magnitude found in quartz. However, because it is a biological material, it is non-toxic so could have many innovative applications such as electro active, anti-microbial coatings for medical implants.”

Scientists believe that this recent discovery can be the path-breaking intervention and expected to get the wide reaching implications towards the further study in the energy harvesting domain as well as the flexible electronics needed for the biomedical devices.

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