Researchers have developed a lithium-ion battery that can stretch to more than 150 per cent of its original size.
Inspired by the Japanese art of kirigami, the battery could find many applications in the fast-developing field of wearable technology.
The team of engineers from Arizona State University believes tech companies will be eager to replace bulky rigid batteries in favour of the device that can be easily integrated, for example, in to a stretchy wrist band.
Kirigami is a variation of origami that uses a combination of folding and cutting to produce shapes from a single piece of paper that can be stretched and collapsed.
"It is expected that the kirigami lithium-ion batteries are able to resolve one of the bottlenecks in the development of wearable devices by providing a scalable solution for a stretchable energy source to profoundly change the form factor," said Hanqing Jiang, from Arizona State University who described the invention in an article published in Scientific Reports.
The prototype battery described in the article was sewn into an elastic band attached to a smartwatch and shown to power it while being stretched away from the wrist.
A number of approaches have previously been used in an attempt to develop flexible and stretchable energy storage devices, but the technique of kirigami produced the best results.
"The kirigami-based methodology can be readily expanded to other applications to develop highly stretchable devices and thus deeply and broadly impact the field of stretchable and wearable electronics,” said Jiang.
"Other applications may include smart bracelets and smart headbands among many others," the research said.