New Device to Power Pacemakers

by Sheela Philomena on  February 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM Heart Disease News
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A new prototype device designed by scientists powers a pacemaker using heartbeat vibrations.
 New Device to Power Pacemakers
New Device to Power Pacemakers

The authors describe the technique and their progress developing it in a paper recently published in the AIP's Applied Physics Letters. In their method, vibrations in the chest cavity deform a layer of piezoelectric material, which is able to convert mechanical stress into electrical current. Tests indicate that the device could perform at heart rates from 7 to 700 beats per minute (well below and above the normal range), and that it could deliver eight times the energy required for a pacemaker. Furthermore, the authors write, the amount of energy generated is always larger than the amount required to run a pacemaker, regardless of heart rate. Though the team has yet to develop a prototype that is biocompatible, they say that the potential to package this energy harvester with pacemakers gives it an advantage over competing methods.

Source: Eurekalert

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