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Will Medical Devices of the Future be Battery Free?

Recent developments according to recently published medical science and technology journal are making it an increasing possibility to not use batteries in medical devices ever again. The study highlighted how nanogenerators have been implanted in different medical types of equipment instead of batteries. These devices that are polymer based take energy from the person’s beating heart to convert it into electrical current for various medical devices.

Picture of a heart powering piezoelectric pacemaker
How are they created?

Nanogenerators are made from piezoelectric nanoribbons. These are trapped in between two different metal substance layers. Piezoelectric elements are simply crystals. They are designed in a way that allows them to warp around considerable mechanical pressure. This warping of the crystals is what creates the mechanical current. The metal layers that surround the piezoelectric are made of platinum and titanium. The second layer of the metal is made up of gold and chromium.
Once the nanogenerators are ready for use they are attached to the heart with the help of flexible piezoelectric strips. Other uses of this technology are tiny speakers and lighter that are designed to be thrown away after a certain number of uses.

How is Trickle Charge Utilized?

The strips that band the nanogenerators to the heart are flexible and they expand and contract as the heart continues to beat. The flexing of these bands will be converted into tiny electrical signals by the warped crystals. This will then result in the creation of a trickle charge. A trickle charge is simply put a low key current that constantly charges enough power allowing the pacemaker to run.
Current pacemakers in the heart are reliant of battery for power which needs to be replaced regularly. The initiation of nanogenerators will allow these batteries to be replaced and for the hearts to be powered artificially.

What is their future Application?

In the future, there are extensive plans to take this technology forward. One way of doing that can include possibly using the movement from other organs as a source of power. The ability to use movements from all the organs in the body will allow the generator to produce significant amounts of energy making the use of batteries in the human body void.

How is using a Nanogenerator Advantageous?

The primary advantage of using a Nanogenerator is that it will increase the lifespan of the device that is being used in. This is unlike what other power sources are able to offer. This will mean that one device can stay in operation inside a person for a longer period of time decreasing the number of surgical procedures needed.
For example, a person who has a pacemaker installed, powered by batteries, will have to get it replaced once it is about to run out and that will only be possible via a surgical procedure. At that point of time, the doctors will either replace the batteries or change the entire device. Since operations almost always have risks attached to them it is best to undertake as little of them as possible.

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