Scientists have developed a wireless defibrillator. no batteries required The world’s first machine that dissolves in the body when it is no longer needed.
This thin and lightweight device harvests power wirelessly from long-range antennas. And it’s made from biocompatible materials that naturally absorb into the body over a period of 5-7 weeks.
The researchers behind the device hope it could soon replace a temporary pacemaker. which requires invasive surgery to remove
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The thin, lightweight device harvests power wirelessly from long-range antennas. And it’s made from biocompatible materials that absorb naturally over a period of 5-7 weeks.
How does a conventional defibrillator work?
A pacemaker is a small device the size of a matchbox or smaller, weighing 20 to 50 grams.
It consists of a pulse generator, which contains a battery and a small computer circuit, and one or more wires called pacing leads that are attached to your heart.
A pulse generator emits an electrical current through wires to your heart. The rate at which the electrical impulse is transmitted is known as the pacing rate.
Almost all modern pacemakers work on demand. This means that it can be programmed to adjust the rate of release to meet your body’s needs.
If the pacemaker senses that your heart is beating too fast or too slow The signal will be transmitted at a constant rate.
If you feel like your heart is beating normally It won’t send any signal.
Most pacemakers have special sensors that sense your body movements or your breathing rate.
This allows for a faster discharge rate as you use it. Doctors describe this as a response to the rate.
The lightweight device was developed by researchers at Northwestern University and George Washington and is believed to be the first transient pacemaker.
It harvests energy wirelessly from external antennas using a short-range communication protocol. This is the same technology used in smartphones for electronic payments and in RFID tags, eliminating the need for bulky batteries and rugged hardware. including wire or lead
Not only does this reduce the risk of infection, the team said, but also the risk of scar tissue.
John A. Rogers, who led the study, said: ‘Hardware is in or near the heart. This increases the risk of infection and other complications.
‘Our wireless and transient defibrillators overcome a significant disadvantage of conventional transient devices by eliminating the need for percutaneous conduction for surgical extraction procedures – thus having the potential to reduce costs and outcomes. better in patient care
‘This kind of device could represent the future of transient pacing technology.’
The team hopes that one day the device will temporarily replace the pacemaker.
“Sometimes patients only need a temporary pacemaker. Perhaps after open heart surgery, a heart attack, or an overdose,” explains study co-author Dr. Rishi Arora.
‘After the patient’s heart has stabilized We can remove the pacemaker. The current standard of care involves inserting a wire that stays in place for three to seven days.
‘These things have the potential to become infected or come off.’
Currently, temporary defibrillators must be stitched into the heart muscle during open heart surgery. and then removed with further surgery.
Worryingly, this can lead to complications such as infection, damaged tissue and blood clots.
on the contrary The new device only requires surgery to be implanted – and in the future it can be inserted into a vein in the leg or arm.
Dr. Arora said ‘Instead of using wires that can get infected and come off. We can implant a lead-free defibrillator.
The new device only requires surgery to be implanted. And in the future can be inserted into a vein in the leg or arm.
‘The circuit is implanted directly on the surface of the heart. And we can activate it remotely. over the course of several weeks The new pacemaker will either ‘dissolve’ or wear out on its own. Therefore, there is no need to physically remove the pacemaker electrodes.
‘This could be a major win for patients after surgery.
‘ with further modifications Finally, it may be possible to implant such a bioabsorbable pacemaker through a vein in the leg or arm.
According to the team, the composition and thickness of the device vary. They can control how many days it remains to function properly before it melts.
‘In this case, it may be possible to provide temporary pacing to patients who have had a heart attack or who are undergoing catheter surgery, such as catheter aortic valve replacement.’
Depending on the patient, a temporary defibrillator may be needed anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
According to the team, the composition and thickness of the device are different. They can control how many days it remains to function properly before it melts.
Dr. Rogers said “We build these devices from safe materials. Different types of bio-absorbable and in an optimized architecture to ensure stable functioning over a period of time which is somewhat longer than clinically necessary
‘We can customize the device to handle a wide range of related life stages.
‘Temporary technology, in general, could someday provide a cure or cure for a wide range of medical conditions – in a sense, in the form of an engineered drug.’
It is not yet clear when the device will be ready for human testing. or what is the price