Microimplants in the Body Can Be Wirelessly Charged

May 21, 2014 2:08 PM

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Microimplants in the Body Can Be Wirelessly Charged

By John Nassivera | May 21, 2014 10:00 AM EDT

Researchers at Stanford University have found a new way to wirelessly charge sensors implanted in different parts of the body.

The technique, called "mid-field wireless transfer", involves using a device the size of a credit card placed outside the body to deliver power to pacemakers, sensors, nerve stimulators and other electronic devices, according to PSFK.

The technique, called "mid-field wireless transfer", involves using a device the size of a credit card placed outside the body to deliver power to pacemakers, sensors, nerve stimulators and other electronic devices, according to PSFK.

"With this method, we can safely transmit power to tiny implants in organs like the heart or brain, well beyond the range of current near-field system," said Dr. John Ho, co-author of the study.

"With this method, we can safely transmit power to tiny implants in organs like the heart or brain, well beyond the range of current near-field system," said Dr. John Ho, co-author of the study.

Ada Poon, lead researcher and assistant professor of electrical engineering, said the new technique allows sensors to not have to be close to the skin to recharge like current devices, CNET reported. The devices would also not need large, bulky batteries. With mid-field wireless transferring, sensors can be embedded deeper into the skin without being absorbed or bouncing off.

Ada Poon, lead researcher and assistant professor of electrical engineering, said the new technique allows sensors to not have to be close to the skin to recharge like current devices, CNET reported. The devices would also not need large, bulky batteries. With mid-field wireless transferring, sensors can be embedded deeper into the skin without being absorbed or bouncing off.

The technique involves the use of a device that generates a near-field wave that changes its characteristics when it moves from air to skin. With this method, Poon was able to power small medical implants in animals, one of which was a pacemaker in a rabbit.

The technique involves the use of a device that generates a near-field wave that changes its characteristics when it moves from air to skin. With this method, Poon was able to power small medical implants in animals, one of which was a pacemaker in a rabbit.

"We need to make these devices as small as possible to more easily implant them deep in the body and create new ways to treat illness and alleviate pain," she said.

The research reveals new developments that could be made with "electroceutical" devices, which use electric stimulation to treat illnesses that would need drug treatment. Using power for such devices has led to the development of sensors implanted in fitness trackers to measure heart rate and blood glucose, PSFK reported.

"The Poon lab has solved a significant piece of the puzzle for safely powering implantable microdevices, paving the way for new innovation in this field," said William Newsome, director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute.

Poon's research team is getting ready to start human trials with the battery-less devices, CNET reported.

The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: hngn.com

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