Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Medindia
Advertisement

Tiny Device Propels Itself Through Bloodstream

by Sheela Philomena on February 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM
 Tiny Device Propels Itself Through Bloodstream

Scientists have developed a tiny, implantable, self-powered medical device that is capable of controlling motion through a fluid-blood more specifically. The era of swallow-the-surgeon medical care may no longer be the stuff of science fiction.

Poon is an assistant professor at the Stanford School of Engineering. She is developing a new class of medical devices that can be implanted or injected into the human body and powered wirelessly using electromagnetic radio waves. No batteries to wear out. No cables to provide power.

Advertisement

"Such devices could revolutionize medical technology," said Poon. "Applications include everything from diagnostics to minimally invasive surgeries."

Certain of these new devices, like heart probes, chemical and pressure sensors, cochlear implants, pacemakers, and drug pumps, would be stationary within the body. Others, like Poon's most recent creations, could travel through the bloodstream to deliver drugs, perform analyses, and perhaps even zap blood clots or removing plaque from sclerotic arteries.
Advertisement

Challenged by power

The idea of implantable medical devices is not new, but most of today's implements are challenged by power, namely the size of their batteries, which are large, heavy and must be replaced periodically. Fully half the volume of most of these devices is consumed by battery.

"While we have gotten very good at shrinking electronic and mechanical components of implants, energy storage has lagged in the move to miniaturize," said co-author Teresa Meng, a professor of electrical engineering and of computer science at Stanford. "This hinders us in where we can place implants within the body, but also creates the risk of corrosion or broken wires, not to mention replacing aging batteries."

Poon's devices are different. They consist of a radio transmitter outside the body sending signals to an independent device inside the body that picks up the signal with an antenna of coiled wire. The transmitter and the antenna are magnetically coupled such that any change in current flow in the transmitter produces a voltage in the coiled wire or, more accurately, it induces a voltage. The power is transferred wirelessly. The electricity runs electronics on the device and propels it through the bloodstream, if so desired.

Upending convention

It sounds easy, but it is not. Poon had to first upend some long-held assumptions about the delivery of wireless power inside the human body.

For fifty years, scientists have been working on wireless electromagnetic powering of implantable devices, but they ran up against mathematics. According to the models, high-frequency radio waves dissipate quickly in human tissue, fading exponentially the deeper they go.

Source: Eurekalert
Font : A-A+

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Medical Gadgets

Sonic Vision Aids Blind Individuals in Deciphering Basic Faces
Blind individuals utilize the specific area in the brain to recognize basic faces, a function vital for sighted face processing.
New Migraine Management Wearable Introduced
Nerivio, the first-of-its-kind product for migraine in India, holds USFDA approval, is drug-free, noninvasive, and exhibits a promising safety profile.
Medical Wearable Tech Hits $100 Billion in 2023
Health-sensing wearables revolutionize healthcare, empowering control. They aid remote patient monitoring, track vital signs like heart rate, glucose, blood pressure.
Ingestible Capsule Detects Sleep Apnea Breathing Issues
The Celero Systems capsule, designed for diagnosing sleep apnea, also holds potential in detecting opioid overdoses among high-risk individuals.
Mini-Wearable Device Captures Body Sounds to Monitor Health
A wearable wireless acoustic device records body's delicate sounds. They are useful for monitoring heart, respiration, and bowel sounds to detect abnormalities.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
×

Tiny Device Propels Itself Through Bloodstream Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests