Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.


Bioengineering; Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Hohyun Lee

Second Advisor

Prashanth Asuri


Wearable medical devices such as insulin pumps, glucose monitors, hearing aids, and electrocardiograms provide necessary medical aid and monitoring to millions of users worldwide. These battery powered devices require battery replacement and frequent charging that reduces the freedom and peace of mind of users. Additionally, the significant portion of the world without access to electricity is unable to use these medical devices as they have no means to power them constantly. Wearable thermoelectric power generation aims to charge these medical device batteries without a need for grid power.

Our team has developing a wristband prototype that uses body heat, ambient air, and heat sinks to create a temperature difference across thermoelectric modules thus generating ultra-low voltage electrical power. A boost converter is implemented to boost this voltage to the level required by medical device batteries. Our goal was to use this generated power to charge medical device batteries off-the-grid, increasing medical device user freedom and allowing medical device access to those without electricity. We successfully constructed a wearable prototype that generates the voltage required by an electrocardiogram battery; however, further thermoelectric module and heat dissipation optimization is necessary to generate sufficient current to charge the battery.