An experimental new medical invention uses the energy from a beating heart to power a pacemaker — potentially ending the need for surgeries to replace pacemakers that have dying batteries.
The device can use the energy from a beating heart to generate enough electricity to keep the pacemaker going, according to a study presented Monday at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012 in Los Angeles.
A pacemaker is a medical device that uses electrical impulses to keep the heart beating. It needs to be replaced every five to seven years when its batteries run out. Each replacement means a major surgery.
The most recent tests were successful, but preliminary. Scientists tested the device outside the body. Using something called a "shaker" to replicate a human heart beat, they found the device can generate more than 10 times the power a modern pacemaker needs.
The next step, Karami said, is to implant the device and see how it works in the body.
If it works, the technology could be used in other implantable cardiac devices, such as defibrillators.
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