Self-Powered Pacemaker on the Horizon December 12, 2012Posted by Rohit Mehta MD,FACC,FHRS in Cardiac Rhythm Management, Science & Research.
Tags: ICD, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
News from the recent American Heart Association meeting showed that an internally-powered pacemaker is on the horizon.
Researchers at the University of Michigan (lead author- M. Amin Karami, Ph.D., co-authors- David J. Bradley, MD, Daniel J. Inman, Ph.D.) have explored and developed an in-vitro mechanism to “recharge” implantable devices using a heartbeat induced vibrations in the chest wall and a “harvester,” which uses piezoelectricity to functionally recharge or limitlessly supply cardiac devices.
Two types of harvesters- linear and nonlinear were tested with the nonlinear harvester being the only one able to mitigate the variability encountered with the human heartbeat. No in-vitro interactions with cell phones or microwave ovens were noted.
Interestingly, the human heartbeat generated more than 10 fold the amount of energy needed to power the device. Talk about a surplus.
While still awaiting in vivo testing, this is certainly a very interesting and potentially game-changing use of technology to our patients benefit. Stay tuned for the outcome of this early story. In the interim, let me know your thoughts on the latest research affecting the field of electrophysiology.