Current pacemakers and implantable medical devices are often powered by batteries. But that does not always work optimally. This battery is often large and does not last that long. American and Chinese researchers decided to take a different approach. And they developed a pacemaker that can generate electricity from the beating heart.
The pacemaker generates energy from heartbeats to provide itself with power. Batteries are therefore unnecessary in this way. In one experiment, the self-sufficient pacemaker was tried out in pigs with cardiac arrhythmias. And the device seemed to function properly. For example, the pacemaker was able to correct irregularities in the heart rhythm.
According to the researchers, the device can generate sufficient power to work well in human patients. However, the researchers emphasize that the pacemakers must first be optimized before they can actually be implanted in people.
The pacemaker is a major step forward. To date, self-sufficient, implantable devices have only been tested in small animals and in cells that require little energy. According to the researchers, the technology developed can also be used in other areas. Consider, for example, tissue culture, nerve regeneration and differentiation of stem cells.