Ilika Technologies, pioneers of solid state battery technology, have opened their new Stereax manufacturing facility, the first of its kind in the UK. Stereax micro batteries were designed to address the challenges of powering next generation implanted medical devices and industrial wireless sensors used in the Industrial Internet of Things.

Next-generation MedTech devices are embracing miniaturisation but have been prevented from reaching their full potential because the electronic components haven’t been small enough to be embedded in the device without affecting form factor. These components include a sensor, actuator, microcontroller, communications device and power source. The challenge has been to create a power source that is not only small enough but also safe enough to be used in the medical world.

Being solid state, Stereax solid state batteries contain no liquid or polymer components and have no free lithium which means they are safe for medical applications. As well as being smaller than traditional batteries, they also have great power density, more charging cycles and faster charging. This makes the ideal power source for next-generation medical devices and implants where they can:

  • Enable smart functionalities in volume constrained joint implants in the smart orthopaedics sector
  • Safely power miniature neuromodulation implants which offer smaller incisions and lower medical costs
  • Provide a power source that is miniature enough to not disrupt comfort or vision to the wearer of smart contact lenses

They can be recharged in-vivo by inductive charging or ultrasound charging

They are also designed to enable miniaturisation of sensors in IOT, such as remotely monitoring the health of hard to reach assets like turbine blades, bridges, pipelines or simply inaccessible pieces of machinery in production plants. They can be trickle-charged by an energy harvesting source such as vibration or a PV panel, and their high peak current enables the transmission of data using protocols such as Bluetooth Low Energy. This makes them ideal for integration into ‘fit and forget’ remote monitoring devices.

Capable of working in hostile environments where temperatures can be up to 150°C Stereax batteries can also be used in Industrial IoT environments where small sensors are used to take real time data and transmit it back to engineers for analysis, processing and action as required. Condition monitoring in smart factories and other industrial environments can save a company a lot of time and money. However if the sensor runs out of power, it negates the purpose of having it in the first place.

Stereax batteries can be charged and recharged over a thousand times. That number can be extended to provide an even longer lifetime by over-specifying the energy capacity. If the standard form-factor is not suitable, customizable options can also be arranged. With these next-generation, innovative devices, one size does not fit all and they often need a customised solution as shown in this video.

Ilika’s first prototype is The Stereax M300, 0.9mm high with a footprint of 3.6mm x 5.6mm, however work is currently underway to reduce that footprint to a target size of only 5mm2. The M300 has a capacity of 300µAh which can be increased by stacking cells together. It will available later this year and in the meantime, Ilika are working with companies on their Evaluation Program where a business can evaluate 5 Stereax M250 batteries now, return to us when done and receive 10 free Stereax M300 batteries. This enables us to work closely with product designers so their innovative device reaches its full potential.

If you’re a leading disruptor in your sector and need reliable power for your next-generation device, engage now and join our evaluation programme as an early adopter