U of A researchers aim to rid pacemakers of batteries

Apr 16, 2014, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Casa Grande Police Department via AP)...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
19 hours ago
Bryan Patrick Miller (Photo provided by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
Associated Press

Bench trial for man accused of killing 2 women in Phoenix to begin Monday

A bench trial is scheduled to begin Monday for a man accused of sexually attacking and fatally stabbing two young women in separate killings.
19 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

2 men dead after shooting breaks out at party in Gila Bend

Two men ages 25 and 26 are dead after a shooting broke out at a party in Gila Bend Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
19 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 77-year-old man last seen in Queen Creek

A Silver Alert was issued Sunday for a 77-year-old man last seen near Queen Creek Road and South Meridian Road.
19 hours ago
(Petrified Forest National Park Photo)...
Alex Weiner

Triassic reptile discovered at Arizona’s Petrified Forest named after former park superintendent

A Triassic reptile species discovered at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona was named after former park Superintendent and wife.
19 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

New trash pickup days start this week for most of Phoenix

New pickup days go into effect Monday for 80% of the Phoenix's trash, garbage and green organic pickup customers.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
U of A researchers aim to rid pacemakers of batteries