nano-ribbon implant produces enough energy to power internal devices
thin, flexible mechanical energy harvester, with rectifier and microbattery, mounted on the bovine heart
image courtesy university of illinois and university of arizona




according to, researchers from several institutions and universities from around the world have worked together to develop a piezoelectric device that when implanted into the body onto a constantly moving organ, is able to produce enough electricity to run a pacemaker or other implantable device. in a paper published by the national academy of sciences, the team describes the nature of their device and how it might be used in the future:


‘heart rate monitors, pacemakers, cardioverter-defibrillators, and neural stimulators constitute broad classes of electronic implants that rely on battery power for operation. means for harvesting power directly from natural processes of the body represent attractive alternatives for these and future types of biomedical devices. here we demonstrate a complete, flexible, and integrated system that is capable of harvesting and storing energy from the natural contractile and relaxation motions of the heart, lung, and diaphragm at levels that meet requirements for practical applications. systematic experimental evaluations in large animal models and quantitatively accurate computational models reveal the fundamental modes of operation and establish routes for further improvements.’



in the high-tech development, the research team has created a miniature piezoelectric implant capable of powering devices such as pacemakers or a DIY cyborg implant for an entire lifetime. built with nano-ribbons made of lead zirconate titanate, the miniature powerplant – an integrated rectifier and a rechargeable battery – are covered by a flexible, biocompatible plastic. the device can sewn directly onto the heart, lung or diaphragm – all parts that are in constant motion – as the body parts move, they cause the ribbons to bend slightly, which in turn causes the creation of a small amount of electricity.


to read more on the study, see here.