Researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a pacemaker that can be powered from small movements of muscle which can be converted to an electrical current.
Pacemaker – an implantable device has saved the lives of many heart patients. These pacemakers are used to regulate the heart beats to a normal rate using the electrical simulations.
Previously, patients had to undergo multiple surgeries in order to replace the worn out batteries used to power the pacemaker. These surgeries could expose a patient to potential health risk during medical procedures such as infections and severe bleeding.
The newly designed pacemakers are self-powered which not only increase the life-time of cardiac pacemakers but also helps in real-time heart monitoring. These pacemakers use flexible piezoelectric nano-generator.
Piezo-electricity is the phenomena in which certain solid crystals generate electric current when mechanical pressure is applied such as through motion. The researchers have used the bulk single-crystal PMN-PT thin film (iBULe Photonics) for the piezoelectric effect.
The energy harvested was up to 8.2 volts producing 0.22 mA which was enough to pump a rat’s heart on which the experiment was being conducted.
This breakthrough technology can be used as an electrical source for other implantable medical devices as well.
The research results were published in “Advanced Materials” titled “Self-Powered Cardiac Pacemaker Enabled by Flexible Single Crystalline PMN-PT Piezoelectric Energy Harvester”.
You can also view the video below to witness the incredible technology.