Newest Pacemakers Run Battery-Free
December 28, 2006 9:08 PM
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Image courtesy BBC
The Energizer Bunny will no longer have to beat his drum around pacemaker owners
Researchers in the UK are developing a series of pacemakers that run on heat that is produced from body movement. The device will use micro generators that produces electricity whenever the pacemaker owner moves.
This technology allows for a great step in medical advancement by reducing the number of surgeries a pacemaker patient has to go through roughly every 10 years for battery replacement. Researchers claim the technology has not been perfected yet, but it will be a more reliable power source because it runs off of the power generated by the human body.
However, don't expect new devices to use the technology exclusively. New devices will likely still rely on battery power and simply offset power usage with the microgenerator instead. It may be decades before microgenerators become primary power sources for pacemakers, and even then devices will likely still have some sort of emergency battery source.
The cost of the research project is around £1 million, about the equivalent to $1.96 million. The departments and companies involved in the research include the Department of Trade and Industry and Zarlink Semiconductors.
There is no word yet when these devices go into testing or expected approval dates.
According to the
, the research is moving along quite well.
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Two research projects
12/29/2006 8:30:38 AM
"... pacemakers that run on heat that is produced from body movement." seems to be a combination of two areas of research, which is not what the article states. The first research project mentioned only involves body motion (kinetic energy).
"Other research teams" are working on using body heat as an energy source. Curious how this approach would work; the second law of thermodynamics requires a temperature differential for heat engines (work from heat). Perhaps one side of the device would be closer to the patient's skin and thus be cooler, but that's just a guess.
RE: Two research projects
12/29/2006 8:59:05 AM
Maybe these scientists aren't law abiding citizens...
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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