The first demonstration of a self-powered cardiac pacemaker

This picture shows that a self-powered cardiac pacemaker is enabled by a flexible piezoelectric energy harvester. Credit: KAIST

This technology could facilitate the use of self-powered flexible energy harvesters, not only prolonging the lifetime of cardiac pacemakers but also realizing real-time heart monitoring.

As the number of pacemakers implanted each year reaches into the millions worldwide, improving the lifespan of pacemaker batteries has been of great concern for developers and manufacturers. Currently, pacemaker batteries last seven years on average, requiring frequent replacements, which may pose patients to a potential risk involved in medical procedures.

A research team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), headed by Professor Keon Jae Lee of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST and Professor Boyoung Joung, M.D. of the Division of Cardiology at Severance Hospital of Yonsei University, has developed a self-powered artificial cardiac pacemaker that is operated semi-permanently by a flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator.

The artificial cardiac pacemaker is widely acknowledged as medical equipment that is integrated into the human body to regulate the heartbeats through electrical stimulation to contract the cardiac muscles of people who suffer from arrhythmia. However, repeated surgeries to replace pacemaker batteries have exposed elderly patients to health risks such as infections or severe bleeding during operations.

The team’s newly designed flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator directly stimulated a living rat’s heart using electrical energy converted from the small body movements of the rat. This technology could facilitate the use of self-powered flexible energy harvesters, not only prolonging the lifetime of cardiac pacemakers but also realizing real-time heart monitoring.

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The Latest on: Self-powered cardiac pacemaker

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The Latest on: Self-powered cardiac pacemaker
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    on September 17, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Self-powered devices also promise to be smaller ... theoretical studies have found that simply breathing can generate 0.83 watts of power, whereas a cardiac pacemaker only needs 50 microwatts to work ...

  • Self-powered heart 'pacemaker for life' in pigs unveiled, offering hope for humans
    on April 23, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Now researchers in China and the United States believe they have successfully trialed a self-powered pacemaker ... similar to human pacemaker patients. The team developed an implantable generator that ...

  • Symbiotic cardiac pacemaker
    on April 23, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Self-powered implantable medical electronic devices that harvest biomechanical energy from cardiac motion, respiratory movement and blood flow are part of a paradigm shift that is on the horizon. Here ...

  • Self-powered 'pacemaker for life' in pigs unveiled
    on April 22, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Now researchers in China and the United States believe they have successfully trialed a self-powered pacemaker ... similar to human pacemaker patients. The team developed an implantable generator that ...

  • Chinese scientists design heartbeat-powered cardiac pacemaker
    on March 2, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    The device has been successfully tested in pigs. The research makes an important step toward fabricating a self-powered cardiac pacemaker and resolving the power issue of implantable medical devices ...

  • Now, pacemakers that are powered by heartbeats
    on February 22, 2019 at 2:49 am

    BEIJING: Scientists have developed pacemakers that can be powered by the energy of heartbeats, and successfully tested the device in pigs. The study, published in the journal ‘ACS Nano’, is a step ...

  • Now, pacemakers that are powered by heartbeats
    on February 22, 2019 at 12:23 am

    The study, published in the journal ‘ACS Nano’, is a step towards making a self-powered cardiac pacemaker, researchers said. Implantable pacemakers have altered modern medicine, saving countless lives ...

  • Pacemaker powered by heartbeats developed
    on February 21, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Beijing: Scientists have developed pacemakers that can be powered by the energy of heartbeats, and successfully tested the device in pigs. The study, published in the journal ACS Nano, is a step ...

  • Small, Flexible Device Could Power a Pacemaker with Energy from Heartbeat
    on February 21, 2019 at 6:34 am

    New study moves one step closer towards making a self-powered heart pacemaker. Scientists have discovered a small, flexible device that can power a pacemaker with energy from heartbeats. The findings ...

  • Powering a pacemaker with a patient's heartbeat
    on February 20, 2019 at 5:00 am

    They implanted the device in pigs and showed that a beating heart could in fact alter the frame's shape, generating enough power to match the performance of a battery-powered pacemaker. The study is a ...

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