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Researchers have developed a pacemaker that could be powered wirelessly

Ah, the pacemaker – a medical implant that has helped keep the hearts of many ticking over the years, but it is time that new technology continues to build upon the rich legacy of this medical device. Researchers could very well develop a new way to power pacemakers of the future by charging it wirelessly, as they have already successfully come up with a working prototype of a rice-sized wireless pacemaker that enjoys such a capability. 

The days of clunky, battery-operated pacemakers may soon be over. Researchers have built a wirelessly powered pacemaker the size of a grain of rice and successfully implanted it in a rabbit. If the results hold up, a new generation of smaller and safer medical implants could be on the market in the next 5 to 10 years. Today’s pacemakers, cochlear implants, and other internal medical devices require batteries that are either built into the implant or connected by long wires, making them bulky and requiring surgery any time the batteries need to be replaced or the wires need repair. Recently, researchers have worked to make pacemakers smaller; one recent design is so tiny that doctors can use a catheter to guide it through a vein that starts in the thigh to implant it directly inside a patient’s heart. But no matter how small a pacemaker is, its batteries still need to be replaced eventually.

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