«Heart failure— from any cause— may necessitate the use of pacemakers, devices that monitor the heartbeat and control the heart rate. Pacemakers use batteries that last about a decade; however, since some of the batteries do not last up to their promised duration, it is imperative to reduce the need for the battery to last long. There is therefore much research towards improving the current pacemaker technology; some scientists have developed a way to charge it by using the heart’s beats. There have also been talks about a “bionic” pacemaker that monitors a person’s breathing and heart rate in one device.»

«In 2015, Andreas Haberlin, a medical doctor and researcher at Bern University Hospital, Switzerland, published two papers after deep research into how batteries can be removed from the equation and replaced by solar panels. The papers describe how solar panels implanted in pigs can harvest light energy through the skin and power pacemakers. This is encouraging, nonetheless, what happens in situations where the weather is down for far too long?»

«Haberlin got around this by designing a prototype pacemaker with a small storage capacity. Although it is not a battery, Haberlin agrees that there is a need for some sort of storage which has to be smaller than the conventional battery. The resulting prototype pacemaker, once fully charged, could run in darkness with no further solar charging for 40 days.»

Article written by Samson Onifade



Med-Tech World