We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App




Longer-Lasting Pacemaker Batteries Could Help Avoid Replacement Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Nov 2022
Print article
Image: New materials could enable longer-lasting implantable batteries (Photo courtesy of MIT)
Image: New materials could enable longer-lasting implantable batteries (Photo courtesy of MIT)

For the last few decades, battery research has largely focused on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are used in everything from electric cars to portable electronics and have improved dramatically in terms of affordability and capacity. But nonrechargeable batteries have seen little improvement during that time, despite their crucial role in many important uses such as implantable medical devices like pacemakers. Now, researchers have come up with a way to improve the energy density of these nonrechargeable, or “primary,” batteries which are used for essential applications because they can provide about three times as much energy for a given size and weight as rechargeable batteries. The researchers say their technology could enable up to a 50% increase in useful lifetime, or a corresponding decrease in size and weight for a given amount of power or energy capacity, while also improving safety, with little or no increase in cost. Replacing the battery in a pacemaker or other medical implant requires a surgical procedure, so any increase in the longevity of their batteries could have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life.

The new findings by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Boston, MA, USA) involve substituting the conventionally inactive battery electrolyte with a material that is active for energy delivery. The new materials work at human body temperature, so would be suitable for medical implants. The key to the team’s innovation is a new kind of electrolyte — the material that lies between the two electrical poles of the battery, the cathode and the anode, and allows charge carriers to pass through from one side to the other. Using a new liquid fluorinated compound, the team found that they could combine some of the functions of the cathode and the electrolyte in one compound, called a catholyte. This allows for saving much of the weight of typical primary batteries.

The new cells also provide safety improvements over other kinds of proposed chemistries that would use toxic and corrosive catholyte materials, which their formula does not. And preliminary tests have demonstrated a stable shelf life over more than a year, an important characteristic for primary batteries. So far, the team has not yet experimentally achieved the full 50% improvement in energy density predicted by their analysis. They have demonstrated a 20% improvement, which in itself would be an important gain for some application. The design of the cell itself has not yet been fully optimized, but the researchers can project the cell performance based on the performance of the active material itself.

One big advantage of the new material is that it can easily be integrated into existing battery manufacturing processes, as a simple substitution of one material for another. The cost of batteries using the new material is likely to be comparable to the existing batteries as well. The team has already applied for a patent on the catholyte, and they expect that the medical applications are likely to be the first to be commercialized, perhaps with a full-scale prototype ready for testing in real devices within about a year.

Related Links:
MIT

Gold Member
SARS‑CoV‑2/Flu A/Flu B/RSV Sample-To-Answer Test
SARS‑CoV‑2/Flu A/Flu B/RSV Cartridge (CE-IVD)
Gold Member
NEW PRODUCT : SILICONE WASHING MACHINE TRAY COVER WITH VICOLAB SILICONE NET VICOLAB®
REGISTRED 682.9
Silver Member
Compact 14-Day Uninterrupted Holter ECG
NR-314P
New
Silver Member
Mobile X-Ray Barrier
Lead Acrylic Mobile X-Ray Barriers

Print article
Detecto

Channels

Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: The prototype pacemaker is made of a specially engineered membrane (Photo courtesy of University of Chicago)

Ultra-Thin, Light-Controlled Pacemaker Regulates Heartbeats

Millions of individuals depend on pacemakers, small yet vital devices that help maintain a regular heartbeat by regulating the heart's electrical impulses. To minimize complications, there is growing interest... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The newly-launched solution can transform operating room scheduling and boost utilization rates (Photo courtesy of Fujitsu)

Surgical Capacity Optimization Solution Helps Hospitals Boost OR Utilization

An innovative solution has the capability to transform surgical capacity utilization by targeting the root cause of surgical block time inefficiencies. Fujitsu Limited’s (Tokyo, Japan) Surgical Capacity... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: The new eye-safe laser technology can diagnose traumatic brain injury (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Novel Diagnostic Hand-Held Device Detects Known Biomarkers for Traumatic Brain Injury

The growing need for prompt and efficient diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major cause of mortality globally, has spurred the development of innovative diagnostic technologies.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.