Pacemaker without batteries or cables is being developed

A PACEMAKER without batteries or cables being developed by a team of scientists

More than 12,000 pacemakers that have been installed in patients in Spain have become life insurance for their carriers, small electronic devices that are surgically placed in patients who suffer from slow or defective heartbeats, to guarantee a stable heart rhythm, and have helped to solve many a cardiac problem, with the first-ever device being implanted in a patient in Spain back in the 1960s.
Over the decades, with the advancement in technology, pacemakers have become increasingly more miniaturised, more powerful, and even wireless, but now there is a new device that is being studied for feasibility, and which is still in the verification phase since it reportedly presents drawbacks such as long-term stability in vivo, the method used for its implantation, or the integration between the rigid stimulation chip, and the flexible energy harvesting unit.

Today’s cardiac pacemakers use a battery-powered power supply with cables, that keep the heart beating regularly, and Dr Yi and his team are working on the development of battery-free power and cordless pacing, but the challenge has been to get enough energy through harnessing the kinetic energy of the heart.

As Yi explained, “If the practical force of the heart is 0.5 newtons, the power output should be about 192 microwatts. Therefore, for the commercial pacemaker, no less than 10 microwatts are sufficient for its normal work”.

In this latest design, energy is collected by buckling the encapsulated structure of the pacemaker, creating buckled piezoelectric energy, a method of energy delivery that varies greatly from current pacemaker designs, thus, whereas current pacemakers supply energy through batteries, this new type provides a sustainable energy supply through implantable energy harvesting.
Another advancement is that it receives energy wirelessly through a small metal coil antenna, as Dr Yi explained, “The key difference is the method of power supply. The current paradigm relies mainly on the battery, which limits the development of many implantable biomedical devices, but, a battery-free pacemaker is feasible through the use of battery technology, using implantable energy harvesting, which provides a sustainable energy delivery method”.
Adding, “The first research plan consists of achieving the integration of the flexible stimulation circuit, and the energy harvesting unit. Afterwards, we will carry out the verification of the long-term stability in vivo”, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at