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Bone Batteries

January 11, 2017

Bone structure inspires the design of a safer lithium ion battery.


Phone batteries that can’t explode. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Modern lithium ion batteries for cars, phones and computers are powerful and rechargeable. But as we’ve seen with electric cars and some cell phones, the batteries can short-circuit and explode. Florida State University chemist Yan-Yan Hu explains that liquid chemicals in these batteries can allow metal fibers to grow and connect the negative and positive sides, and that causes an explosive short-circuit. She and her team have developed new solid state batteries with an internal structure inspired by bone.

YAN-YAN HU (Florida State University):

Bone is composed of proteins and the mineral phase, so the combination of these two components provide both hardness and flexibility. So that makes bone very tough and not easy to crack.


The new batteries not only resist damage, but also prevent the formation of the fibersd that lead to explosions. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Yan-Yan Hu is a recipient of the AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences.

Story by Bob Hirshon