System Wirelessly Powers Medical Implants the Size of a Grain of Rice


Stanford University electrical engineer Ada Poon has invented a way to wirelessly transfer power deep inside the body, and then use this power to run tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators, or sensors. The new technology eliminates the bulky batteries and clumsy recharging systems that prevent medical devices from being more widely used, and could provide a path toward a new type of medicine that allows physicians to treat diseases with electronics rather than drugs. Poon's team built an electronic device smaller than a grain of rice that acts as a pacemaker. It can be powered or recharged wirelessly by holding a power source about the size of a credit card above the device, outside the body.