Implantable Power Generator for Pacemakers

I subscribe to the idea that our lives are more greatly improved by technological advancements than diminished. For every nefarious use of technology that seems to be a dozen or more positive uses. We’ve effectively eliminated several diseases that once ravished our populations, put a man on the moon, enjoy speedy cooking via microwaves, can preserve food that would naturally spoil in a few days for months, and built devices that can generate power from sunlight. Adding to hour already impressive array of technological advancements is an implantable piezoelectric generator that can power a pacemaker:

( —Researchers from several institutions in the U.S. and one from China have together developed a piezoelectric device that when implanted in the body onto a constantly moving organ is able to produce enough electricity to run a pacemaker or other implantable device. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the nature of their device and how it might be used in the future.

The ramifications of this technology stretch far beyond just pacemakers. Any number of implantable devices could theoretically be powered by such a piezoelectric generator so long as the energy requirements were low enough. Imagine an implant for your optical nerves that could general a heads up display that only you could see or an implantable wireless communication device. As these piezoelectric generators improve they could provide more energy just as increases in power efficiency could give us implants that provide very nifty features without requiring great deals of energy.