Battery-Free Pacemakers?

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A pacemaker that runs on the heart’s own energy may one day be a reality.

Scientists say they’re closer to creating a pacemaker that wouldn’t need to run on batteries and that means they would not have to be replaced.

The batteries in current pacemakers–which regulate heartbeats wear down over time and may need to be replaced every five to 12 years.

And with those surgeries comes the risks of infection and bleeding.

Now new experimental designs include a pacemaker chip and energy harvester that generate energy when bent.

Experiments on the devices in pigs found that the motion of the heart–was enough to churn out energy for the pacemaker.

Researchers say they’ll need more animal testing to see how stable the device is over time with the goal of a pacemaker for humans that requires just one surgery.

The findings of the experimental device appeared online in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. 

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