Scientists develop self-powered cardiac pacemaker

SEOUL, South Korea - A team of Korean scientists have invented a self-powered semi-permanent cardiac pacemaker using advanced nanotechnology.

The pacemaker designed by a research team from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) operates semi-permanently by utilizing a flexible piezoelectric nanogenerator, Press TV reported. The new pacemaker runs by harvesting electrical energy from the patient's minute body movements to stimulate the heart.

This technological advance could ease the use of self-powered flexible energy harvesters, not only extending the lifetime of cardiac pacemakers but also realizing real-time heart monitoring. "For clinical purposes, the current achievement will benefit the development of self-powered cardiac pacemakers as well as prevent heart attacks via the real-time diagnosis of heart arrhythmia," says Professor Keon Jae Lee of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST.

An artificial cardiac pacemaker is generally a piece of medical equipment which is implanted in to the human body to regulate the heartbeat of people suffering from arrhythmia. As a pacemaker's batteries last an average of seven years, it requires frequent replacements, which may expose patients to a potential risk involved in medical procedures.

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