Tuesday, 08 Jun, 2010 Science

Researchers Found a Way to Power Medical Devices Using Patient's Heart


A team of scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology managed to discover a technique that would allow powering various medical devices using the heart of the patient. Trials of the new method were carried out on a rat.

Researchers deposited a zinc oxide nanowire on an elastic polymer substrate. Then they put the device into a polymer casing, covering it from body fluids. The final step involved the attachment of the device to the animal's diaphragm.

The team discovered that the rat's breathing extended the nanowire, making the device produce four picoamperes of current at 2 minivolts.

Researchers look forward at using zinc oxide nanogenerators as sources of energy for different nano-scale sensors that monitor blood pressure and glucose levels. These nano-scale sensors will also allow identifying cancer biomarkers. More information is available here.

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