Modern pacemakers are battery powered to keep the patient’s heart rate regular. The problem is that they need to replace the batteries, which implies additional operations. And this is always risky. Yi Zhiran from Shanghai Jiao Tong University decided to create a fundamentally new device that is powered by the kinetic energy of the heart itself.
The practical power of the heart is 0.5 Newtons, that is, the output power is 192 microwatts, the authors of the development note. At the same time, a minimum of 10 microwatts is sufficient for the smooth operation of a commercial pacemaker.
The energy to operate the device is collected by bending the hermetically sealed structure of the pacemaker, creating curved piezoelectric energy. This feeding method is very different from modern pacemaker designs.