US scientists have suggested a way to reduce the need of replacing implanted pacemakers and defibrillators, whenever their built-in power sources run low. David Tran and his colleagues at Stanford University, California feel that it would be better for the devices to harvest their own power from the human body.
The researchers have already created a number of designs for pacemakers, which power by virtue of being attached to the outside of the heart.
They suggest that implantable devices can be made self-powering by enabling a magnet to move from a coil, or with the help of a piezoelectric element to move in a way that generates current.
Normally, implanted devices have to be replaced every 7 to 10 years, and any surgery for the purpose carries some risk for patients.
The researchers say that making implantable devices self-powered will help increase the periods between replacements, reports New Scientist magazine.