PHOENIX — Researchers at the University of Arizona are working on a new way to power pacemakers that could do away with batteries for good.
The devices seek to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and could have many applications, Dr. Marvin Slepian, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Arizona, said.
One of those applications could be powering pacemakers from the energy created by a person’s heartbeat.
“The goal of the project was to develop materials that could be placed potentially in the body where you could convert mechanical activity … into electrical energy and then use that to then power devices that may require electrical energy within the body,” he said. “Which could then be utilized to either trickle-charge the pacemaker … or as a backup system, or ultimately as a complete power source.”
If the technology can reach a level where devices such as pacemakers are being entirely powered by mechanical energy within the body, Slepian said it could eliminate the need for heart patients to undergo surgery every five-to-eight years to replace a pacemaker’s worn-out batteries.
“The batteries last for several years, but ultimately the batteries have to be changed, and that requires complete removal of the pacemaker,” he said. “In a patient’s lifetime, depending upon when this device was put in, they may have to have several surgeries.”
He said the devices are still in a developmental phase, but could be ready for markets within the next several years.
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development