Viral

BEIJING – Chinese scientists have designed an integrated strategy for directly powering a cardiac pacemaker with the natural energy of the heartbeat.

A cardiac pacemaker is one of the most common implantable medical electronic devices for heart dysfunctions. But its built-in battery has a limited life and needs to be replaced surgically every five to 12 years, which can lead to complications, including infection and bleeding.

Scientists from Shanghai Jiaotong University have worked to directly power a modern and full-function cardiac pacemaker by harvesting the natural energy of a heartbeat, without using any external energy storage.

The generator includes an elastic skeleton and two piezoelectric composites, which can generate enough electricity output for the pacemaker. The device has been successfully tested in pigs.

The research makes an important step toward fabricating a self-powered cardiac pacemaker and resolving the power issue of implantable medical devices by piezoelectric harvesting technology, according to the research team.

The research was published in the journal ACS Nano.