4. This could be the battery-free solution for pacemakersA new energy storage system charges itself using ions from inside the human body – providing an exciting alternative to traditional batteries used in pacemakers, according to researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Connecticut.
Researchers at the universities developed a bio-friendly energy storage system called a biological supercapacitor; it’s harmless to the biological systems in the body. The device could enable cardiac pacemakers and other implantable medical devices that last longer.
The researchers suggest that storing energy in the devices without a battery could be beneficial. Their device, the supercapacitor, uses electrolytes found in biological fluids like blood serum and urine to charge. It works with an energy harvester device that converts heat and motion from the body into electricity. The supercapacitor captures that electricity.
Researchers developed the new supercapacitor device to be 1 micrometer thick. Normal pacemakers are 6–8 mm thick with about half of the device having a battery. It can also bend and twist in the body without being damaged and can store more of a charge than the lithium film batteries in regular pacemakers.