Your Heartbeat Could Power Next-Generation Implants

Evan Selleck - Jun 4, 2010
Your Heartbeat Could Power Next-Generation Implants

Implants have been used for quite some time, and as the future becomes the present, the technology powering them gets better and better. One of the more troubling aspects of those gadgets, though, is powering them. After all, you can’t have all those power cables we’re so accustomed to in our day-to-day lives trailing out of your body, now can you? That’s why how we power those implants needs to change with it, and get better at the same time. Thanks to scientists at Georgia Tech, we’re now officially one step closer to seeing our own bodies power the implants that are so essential to some.

Right now, the scientists are currently testing their new invention in rats. They’re calling it a Muscle-Driven In Vivo Nanogenerator, and it works by utilizing a nanowire to convert the motion of flexing muscles (like in your heart) into an electric current. They can achieve this by utilizing piezoelectric energy.

Right now they’re testing a single unit, with a single nanowire, and the scientists are reporting that it’s not generating nearly enough energy to power anything quite yet. So, they’re next step is to put together a wider array of wires, which will hopefully produce enough electricity to power something like a pacemaker. This will hopefully result in the removal of outside power sources for such things. The efficiency of these devices should improve as well, considering their power would be constant, and always present.

[via Technology Review]

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