Eternal motor: the energy of the heart can be used to recharge the pacemaker


2019-02-05 00:30:08




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The Strength of the cardiac rhythm is so high that it is able to recharge the device designed to save lives, the study said experts from Dartmouth College (USA). Developed by engineers at the College compact device is capable of collecting kinetic energy of the heart and turn it into electricity to power a variety of implantable electronics, according to a press release published on the website EurekAlert!

Millions of people around the world rely on pacemakers, defibrillators and other essential electronic devices, from compact batteries. Typically, these batteries need to be replaced every 10 years. Each replacement requires an expensive surgical operation, which may be accompanied by a risk of complications and infections.

"We're trying to solve a very important problem characteristic of any implantable biomedical devices: how to create an efficient source of energy to implantable devices able to work at all times during the life of the patient, without the need for operations to replace the battery", — says the head of research, Professor of engineering at Dartmouth College, John Zhang, whose team, together with experts from the University of Texas at San Antonio completed the first preclinical testing of the device.

"it is equally important that the device does not interfere with the functioning of the body. It should be not only biocompatible, lightweight, flexible and very compact to work in conjunction with already used types of pacemakers, but also had the scalability to add versatility", — adds study co-author Lin Dong.

The Team proposes to modify existing pacemakers and collect kinetic energy from the main electrode, which is attached to the heart, and then to translate it into electricity to recharge the batteries. Added to the electrode material for collecting the kinetic energy is a thin polymer piezoelectric film "PVDF". When added to a film of special porous structure, it acquires the ability to convert the energy of even a small mechanical motion into electricity. An additional advantage of the device lies in the fact that the module in this form can be used as a sensor for monitoring the patient's condition in real time.

The Results of three years of closed testing a new device on animals by a team of engineers at Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at San Antonio was in the article of the journal Advanced Materials Technologies.

Professor John Zhang notes that prior to the completion of preclinical tests remained about two years. According to their results, some more time will be required to obtain approval for use of devices people. Thus, the scientist hopes, self-loading pacemakers can be on the market within the next five years.

"We have completed the first series of animal studies and obtained promising results, which will be published in the near future. Our development is already interested in several large medical technology companies," — adds Zhang.

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