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> Newest Pacemakers Run Battery-Free
post Dec 29 2006, 06:20 AM
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Newest Pacemakers Run Battery-Free

The Energizer Bunny will no longer have to beat his drum around pacemaker owners

Researchers in the UK are developing a series of pacemakers that run on heat that is produced from body movement. The device will use micro generators that produces electricity whenever the pacemaker owner moves.

This technology allows for a great step in medical advancement by reducing the number of surgeries a pacemaker patient has to go through roughly every 10 years for battery replacement. Researchers claim the technology has not been perfected yet, but it will be a more reliable power source because it runs off of the power generated by the human body.

However, don't expect new devices to use the technology exclusively. New devices will likely still rely on battery power and simply offset power usage with the microgenerator instead. It may be decades before microgenerators become primary power sources for pacemakers, and even then devices will likely still have some sort of emergency battery source.

The cost of the research project is around £1 million, about the equivalent to $1.96 million. The departments and companies involved in the research include the Department of Trade and Industry and Zarlink Semiconductors.

There is no word yet when these devices go into testing or expected approval dates. According to the BBC, the research is moving along quite well.

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