Transdermal implant charging

Here’s what I’m thinking:
Modify a transdermal piercing to accept a watch battery instead of screw-in jewelry. Run leads from the battery to the underside of the piercing, where they are connected to an LED. Coat the whole underside of the piercing in parylene to protect both the leads and the LED. (Note: the LED is just an example. Other devices would presumably work just as well. Transdermal headphone jack to implanted magnets, anyone?)

Here are some potential issues I foresee with this idea:
Transdermals have a terrible success rate, and increasing the size of the foot by adding another attachment to the bottom would likely slow down healing.
The boundary between the parylene and the metal of the transdermal would need to be protected somehow, or I could see the parylene “peeling up” from the metal (Note that I have very little experience with parylene, so I don’t know if this is likely to happen).

Advantages of having a replaceable battery:
A switch or button could be added near the battery to turn the light on or off (which would be pretty cool).
The implant would not need to be removed every time the battery dies, like the North Star.
The light would not require another power source for inductive charging like the NFC light designed by Alex Smith.

Is this design feasible? How would I go about prototyping/testing something like this?


  • It’s not entirely impossible. But the biggest issue is the significant increase in size you’ll have adding wires to the part that actually goes through the skin (I’m afraid I don’t know what that part of said implant is called). As it is they tend to have lower rejection rates due to being tiny. So the very surface of the skin has an insignificantly small hole in it.
    That said, if you can build it, I’m sure there’s people who would be more than happy to coat it for you. Unfortunately that’ll add more to the size, I think the “edge” of the coating would have to be on the outside of the skin to avoid issues.

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