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Pacemaker without battery
A cardiac pacemaker can treat heart-related loss of consciousness, dizziness and weakness, which are caused by a heartbeat that is too slow. The implantation of a pacemaker is usually a blessing for these people.
Optimal functioning of a pacemaker can only be guaranteed if regular checks take place in the further course, which check the charge level of the pacemaker battery and ensure the functionality. Doctors can also read out various data of the pacemaker function, such as how often the pacemaker had to support the heart rhythm with impulses in the past or whether there were any special incidents with the heart rhythm.
Movement generates electricity Future pacemakers could possibly do without batteries. US scientists have developed a device that is designed to permanently obtain the energy required for operation through the natural movement of the organs. This means that changing the battery for other electronic implants in the future may be a thing of the past, as reported by the scientists led by John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the journal "PNAS".
The movements of the heart and lungs can “serve as an inexhaustible source of energy during the life of a patient,” says the researchers. The new device uses the so-called piezoelectric effect for its operation. In this case, certain materials generate an electrical voltage due to an elastic deformation of the material. A lead-zirconium-titanate mixture is used as the material.
In tests on the hearts of cattle and sheep, a single layer of the energy generator delivered a voltage of up to 3.7 volts. The 8 volts required to operate the device could create several interconnected layers. Currently people with pacemakers still need to be operated on regularly so that the batteries can be replaced.
People with pacemakers and similar devices are currently undergoing regular operations to change the batteries. This is associated with risks such as infections. This could be avoided by the new type of energy generation and a cost reduction could take place at the same time. (fr)