About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Tiny Device Propels Itself Through Bloodstream

by Sheela Philomena on February 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Font : A-A+

 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
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Goji Berries May Protect Against Age-Related Vision Loss
Tapping  A Proven Self-Applied Stress Intervention
Black Pepper as Preventive Measure Against Omicron
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Bleeding Disorders
Bleeding disorder is an acquired or an inherited condition, which is characterized by excessive ......
Blood Group Calculator
Blood group calculator gives you a detailed outlook of various blood groups, and also calculates ......
Knee Replacements and Other Medical Devices - One Size Does Not Fit All
Undergoing a knee replacement involves sophisticated medical equipment, but innovative prosthetic .....
FDAs Approach to Medical Device Approval Criticized
A group of US researchers have criticized the workings of the FDA after stating that nearly three .....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

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
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)