The implantable pacemaker, a medical marvel that has extended millions of lives since its invention nearly 60 years ago, is getting a 21st century makeover.
First came a wireless version; these pacemakers, which are AAA battery-sized and placed inside the heart via a catheter through the leg, are being tested in humans in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Now, researchers are developing technology to make these devices battery-free. The advancement is based upon a piezoelectric system that converts vibrational energy – created inside the chest by each heartbeat – into electricity to power the pacemaker.
“Essentially, we’re creating technology that will allow pacemakers to be powered by the very heart that they are regulating,” says M. Amin Karami, PhD, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who is leading the research.
The technology may eliminate the medical risks, costs and inconvenience of having a battery replacement every five to 12 years for millions of people worldwide.
From the beginning
The development of pacemakers dates back nearly a century. At the beginning, most efforts focused on devices that patients would carry outside their body.
Surgeons first successfully implanted a pacemaker in a human in 1960 in Buffalo, New York. The device, invented by UB alumnus Wilson Greatbatch, enabled the patient to survive another 18 months. (Note: A patient in Sweden received an implantable pacemaker in 1958, but the device failed after three hours.)
While there have been advancements since 1960 – the devices are smaller, the batteries last longer, there are even “smart” pacemakers that are linked to computers – the basic design from Greatbatch is the same. About the size of a pocket watch, pacemakers are implanted under the skin through an incision in the chest. Wires, also called leads, connect the device to the heart and deliver electrical signals that regulate the heart’s activity.
The new wireless option does not require leads because it rests inside the heart. This removes a potential point of failure, but the device still relies on a battery that must be replaced as often as the batteries that conventional pacemakers use.
A state of constant motion
The idea of heart-powered pacemakers came to Karami after doing PhD work on piezoelectric applications for unmanned aerial vehicles and bridges. He wanted to apply that knowledge to the human body. The heart was an obvious choice because of its relative strength and constant motion.
“To see the heart in motion – even an animation – is to be awestruck,” says Karami. “It moves significantly. In turn, that movement creates energy that we’re just now figuring out how to harvest.”
The Latest on: Pacemaker
via Google News
The Latest on: Pacemaker
- Now, brain pacemaker to treat Parkinson’s at PGIon September 7, 2019 at 3:45 pm
Lucknow: The state capital’s premier healthcare facility, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, will soon start deep brain stimulation surgery, a minimally invasive ...
- 'New lease on life' after health scare leads to Ironman Wisconsin entryon September 7, 2019 at 10:55 am
From using exercise to shake off depression came what felt like a heart attack, then the installation of a pacemaker and an unexpected jolt of energy into Miller. "I just have a new lease on life ...
- Teen who collapsed in diner two years ago plays first high school football game with pacemakeron September 6, 2019 at 7:34 pm
DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich (FOX 2) - Number 5 is stepping out on his home turf for the first time as an Annapolis High School Cougar. Fox 2: “Are you nervous you're going to get hurt?” “No ma’am,” Rob ...
- Bucks County medical device developer gets key OK in Europeon September 5, 2019 at 10:07 am
A Bucks County medical device company has received approval from the Europe Union for its product designed to treat hypertension while also proving standard pacemaker functions to patients. Orchestra ...
- Pacemaker-Like Implant Cleared in Europe to Lower Blood Pressureon September 4, 2019 at 8:10 am
Orchestra BioMed, a company out of New Hope, Pennsylvania, won the European CE Mark of approval for the Moderato implantable pulse generator which delivers Orchestra’s unique BackBeat Cardiac ...
- Analysis: How a stent made in Galway and a pacemaker from Clonmel show up Brexit riskson September 1, 2019 at 10:58 am
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest gambit to prevent any close scrutiny of his Brexit strategy by the British parliament, by closing down the shop for five weeks, should not blind either the EU or ...
- MIDAS Touch: Anatomic Strategy Dramatically Lowers Pacemaker Rate With Evolut Valveson August 29, 2019 at 9:57 am
A patient-specific strategy focused on device positioning during TAVR procedures with a repositionable, self-expandable transcatheter heart valve (Evolut R/PRO; Medtronic) leads to significant ...
- Self-Expanding TAVR Technique Sinks Pacemaker Rate to Lowest Yeton August 28, 2019 at 11:44 am
Use of a patient-specific approach to optimize self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) positioning reduced the need for permanent pacemaker (PPM) implants down the road, a ...
- What Challenges Temporary Pacemaker Market May See in Next 5 Yearson August 27, 2019 at 6:09 am
Aug 27, 2019 (HTF Market Intelligence via COMTEX) -- Temporary pacemaker (TP) is used in the emergency treatment of a patient with severe Bradyarrhythmia (slow heart rate). The primary factor leading ...
- ASK THE GP: How can I stop hair loss which started three years ago when I had a pacemaker fitted? Dr Martin Scurr answers your health questionson August 19, 2019 at 10:42 am
My hair has been falling out since I had a pacemaker fitted three years ago. I was taking bisoprolol tablets, which I know can cause hair loss, but changing to a different medicine hasn’t helped.
via Bing News