Device Harnesses the Heartbeat to Power Biomedical Implants

A tiny device developed by engineers at Dartmouth College could help harvest the heart's energy to power a wide-range of life-saving implantable devices. The Dartmouth researchers propose modifying pacemakers to harness the kinetic energy of the lead wire attached to the heart, converting it into electricity to continually charge the batteries. An added material — 'PVDF' thin polymer piezoelectric film, designed with porous structures — could help convert even small mechanical motion to electricity. The same device could also be used as a sensor for real-time patient monitoring.