By Chris King • 15 August 2021 • 23:06
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”.
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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.
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