Stanford electrical engineer Ada Poon has invented a system that can wirelessly power tiny medical devices located inside the body using mid-field electromagnetic waves.
Traditional medical devices like pacemakers and nerve stimulators often contain large batteries that make them bulky in size, and periodically requiring battery replacement through surgery.
Assistant professor Poon’s invention involves wrapping a grain-sized medical device with a copper coil, which is then wirelessly charged by placing a power source the size of a credit card near the body. When activated, the power source creates mid-field electromagnetic waves that travel through the body charging the coil-wrapped medical device.
Finally, this invention stands to mark the beginning of the use of ever smaller medical devices to treat a whole host of neurological diseases and localized pain. Poon’s wirelessly charged medical devices could also be used to replace certain drug therapies, helping avoid the side effects that many drugs cause as they can affect entire bodily systems.
The following video features Professor Ada Poon’s explanation of her pioneering discovery.