9. Wireless power source could enable ingestible drug delivery devicesAn MIT wireless power source could be used in sensors that can stay in the digestive track forever after being swallowed, according to new research.
Power sources for ingestible electronic devices have to be safe and efficient.
“If we’re proposing to have systems reside in the body for a long time, power becomes crucial,” said Giovanni Traverso, a research affiliate at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and a gastroenterologist and biomedical engineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in a press release.
The team of researchers created a battery that uses the wireless range of power from an antenna outside the body to one that is inside the digestive tract. The antennas hold enough power to run sensors that have the potential to monitor heart rate, body temperature and levels of particular nutrients or gases in the stomach.
Metal electrodes in galvanic cells usually stop working after awhile. So the researchers decided to use midfield transmission as a way of transferring power between the antennas. They were able to deliver 100 to 200 microwatts of power to a device.
The researchers tested the antenna method in a pig model and found that the external antenna could transfer power from two to 10 centimeters away without causing any tissue damage.