“Many of the patients are children who live with pacemakers for many years”
An experimental device converted energy from a beating heart to provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker , in a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012.
The findings suggest that patients could power their pacemakers — eliminating the need for replacements when batteries are spent.
The approach is a promising technological solution for pacemakers, because they require only small amounts of power to operate, said M. Amin Karami, Ph.D., lead author of the study and research fellow in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Piezoelectricity might also power other implantable cardiac devices like defibrillators, which also have minimal energy needs, he said.
Today’s pacemakers must be replaced every five to seven years when their batteries run out, which is costly and inconvenient, Karami said.
“Many of the patients are children who live with pacemakers for many years,” he said. “You can imagine how many operations they are spared if this new technology is implemented.”
Researchers measured heartbeat-induced vibrations in the chest. Then, they used a “shaker” to reproduce the vibrations in the laboratory and connected it to a prototype cardiac energy harvester they developed. Measurements of the prototype’s performance, based on sets of 100 simulated heartbeats at various heart rates, showed the energy harvester performed as the scientists had predicted — generating more than 10 times the power than modern pacemakers require.
The Latest Streaming News: Energy-harvesting device updated minute-by-minute
Bookmark this page and come back often