Experimental pacemaker powered by voluntary muscle contractions

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Researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have designed a cardiac pacemaker that is powered by the energy that’s produced from the movement of the body’s own muscles.

Image credit: KAIST

Image credit: KAIST

The research team created a flexible piezoelectric nano generator that stimulated the heart of a live rat using the electrical energy produced from the rat’s own muscle contractions (shown in the short video clip above).

Normally used in audio equipment, piezoelectric substances can convert mechanical signals (such as sound waves) into electrical signals, and vice versa. In this case, the stress of the muscle contractions applied to the nanogenerator creates the electricity needed to power a pacemaker.

Cardiac pacemaker technology is a commonplace medical implant used to help improve the lives of millions of people around the world. With KAIST’s innovative breakthrough, doctors can push the limits of this tried and true technology and apply it to numerous implantable devices. Best of all, KAIST’s technology hopes to eliminate, or at least minimize, the need to undergo costly and risky surgeries to replace the batteries typically used to charge these devices.

Information source from Gizmag

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Poet, web designer, and tech writer, Brad Bailey is co-founder of Tech Gen Mag. Having once been a regular in the Orange County poetry circuit, Brad set his notebooks aside to assist childhood friend, Kristian Markus, with the task of building a web-based tech magazine. Born into the Nintendo generation, Brad is a longtime fan of video games, gadgets, and computers.