Pacemaker without batteries
This invention could greatly facilitate the lives of millions of people with a pacemaker. So far, the implanted device, which stimulates the heart to beat regularly by electric impulse, runs with batteries. And they have to be exchanged every few years. This requires a small surgical procedure.
But that might not be necessary in the future, if the invention of Chinese researchers prevails: The scientists have developed a pacemaker, which requires no batteries at all.
The energy needed to operate the pacemaker is generated from the movement of the heart, reports Wissenschaft.de, referring to the development of researchers around Han Ouyang from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, which is now described in the journal Nature.
Development has not progressed so far as to enable operation in the human body. For this, the system must be even smaller and more efficient, so the Chinese scientists.
Initial tests with pigs make them confident that this could succeed. Because, according to the study, enough energy could be generated to eliminate arrhythmias in the animals.
The researchers could have made a first important step: "The performance of the device is impressive, because it is four times as high as in previous approaches of this kind," quoted science.de the researchers Han Ouyang.
"The symbiotic pacemaker absorbs energy from the body to do its job. At the same time, the body gets electrical stimulation from the pacemaker to regulate the heart's activity, "says Ouyang, pointing out that the device developed by his research team is well tolerated and durable.
Pacemakers are implanted in people whose heart rhythm is disturbed.