Breakthrough brings us health implants size of rice grains

May 19, 2014
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Breakthrough brings us health implants size of rice grains

What if the credit card in your wallet could someday power your heart? Researchers at Stanford have created an electronic device smaller than a grain of rice, which can be charged remotely by a device roughly the size of a credit card. The goal is to use it as an implant for humans, with it having been tested as a pacemaker for a rabbit already.


The device pioneers a new charging protocol called mid-field wireless transfer. A team led by Stanford Electrical Engineer Ada Poon created the device and tech powering it, which basically take near-field communications to the next level. The new charging method uses about as much energy as a smartphone, and offers up radiation well below our threshold for safety.

The science behind it has to do with different materials, and how the device will charge situationally. Using our bodies as conduits, the mid-field charging technology would use electromagnetic waves that travel differently when they came into contact with skin, and essentially move faster and stronger when given a physical base.

The tech has all manner of benefit, from tiny hearing aids to pacemakers for humans. The devices could also be beneficial for chronic pain management, or even neurological issues. Given the way the tiny device charges, it can be implanted fairly deep in the body and still work, so long as a charging device were in range or nearby.

Via: The Verge


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