Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New device could allow your heartbeat to power pacemaker

Date:
November 4, 2012
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
An experimental device that converts energy from a beating heart could provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker. Such pacemakers could eliminate the need for surgeries to replace pacemakers with depleted batteries.

An experimental device that converts energy from a beating heart could provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker. Such pacemakers could eliminate the need for surgeries to replace pacemakers with depleted batteries.
Credit: Sergej Khackimullin / Fotolia

An experimental device converted energy from a beating heart to provide enough electricity to power a pacemaker, in a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012.

Related Articles


The findings suggest that patients could power their pacemakers -- eliminating the need for replacements when batteries are spent.

In a preliminary study, researchers tested an energy-harvesting device that uses piezoelectricity -- electrical charge generated from motion. The approach is a promising technological solution for pacemakers, because they require only small amounts of power to operate, said M. Amin Karami, Ph.D., lead author of the study and research fellow in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Piezoelectricity might also power other implantable cardiac devices like defibrillators, which also have minimal energy needs, he said.

Today's pacemakers must be replaced every five to seven years when their batteries run out, which is costly and inconvenient, Karami said.

"Many of the patients are children who live with pacemakers for many years," he said. "You can imagine how many operations they are spared if this new technology is implemented."

Researchers measured heartbeat-induced vibrations in the chest. Then, they used a "shaker" to reproduce the vibrations in the laboratory and connected it to a prototype cardiac energy harvester they developed. Measurements of the prototype's performance, based on sets of 100 simulated heartbeats at various heart rates, showed the energy harvester performed as the scientists had predicted -- generating more than 10 times the power than modern pacemakers require.

The next step will be implanting the energy harvester, which is about half the size of batteries now used in pacemakers, Karami said. Researchers hope to integrate their technology into commercial pacemakers.

Two types of energy harvesters can power a typical pacemaker: linear and nonlinear. Linear harvesters work well only at a specific heart rate, so heart rate changes prevent them from harvesting enough power.

In contrast, a nonlinear harvester -- the type used in the study -- uses magnets to enhance power production and make the harvester less sensitive to heart rate changes. The nonlinear harvester generated enough power from heartbeats ranging from 20 to 600 beats per minute to continuously power a pacemaker.

Devices such as cell phones or microwave ovens would not affect the nonlinear device, Karami said.

Co-authors are David J. Bradley, M.D., and Daniel J. Inman, Ph.D.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "New device could allow your heartbeat to power pacemaker." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121104210843.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2012, November 4). New device could allow your heartbeat to power pacemaker. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121104210843.htm
American Heart Association. "New device could allow your heartbeat to power pacemaker." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121104210843.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins