Bendy implant harnesses the power of your beating heart

 作者:秋蠢鍪     |      日期:2019-03-07 03:05:01
By Paul Marks FANCY becoming a real human dynamo? Every breath you take could one day be used to generate electricity. Energy from the natural motion of the heart, lungs and diaphragm in cows, pigs and sheep has been harnessed to power medical implants. The hope is that people with pacemakers and heart monitors will one day be spared risky surgery when the batteries need replacing. John Rogers and his colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign exploited the piezoelectric effect, in which crystal lattices in some compounds generate an electric current when flexed or compressed. The team manufactured nanoribbons of a piezoelectric material called lead zirconate titanate and deposited them on a flexible silicone base that could conform to the shape of a moving organ. These were connected to a rechargeable battery and implanted on the heart, lungs and diaphragms of the animals (PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1317233111). The system generated 0.2 microwatts per square centimetre of the piezoelectric material. The team says this exceeds levels relevant for practical use in implants. The nanoribbons can be stacked if more power is required. This article appeared in print under the headline “Bendy implant generates power in a heartbeat” More on these topics: