Implantable batteries use the body’s oxygen for power

Implantable batteries

Chinese researchers have introduced an implantable battery that operates on oxygen within the human body. 

The study, published in the journal Chem, showcases a proof-of-concept design that demonstrates stable power delivery and compatibility with biological systems.

Traditional implantable medical devices, including pacemakers and neurostimulators, rely on conventional batteries. 

However, the need for frequent replacement surgeries poses challenges for patients. To address this issue, the Tianjin University of Technology research team devised an innovative solution using the continuous supply of oxygen in the body.

The battery’s electrodes, composed of a sodium-based alloy and nanoporous gold, interact with oxygen to generate electricity. 

Encased within a flexible polymer film, the battery was implanted under the skin of rats for evaluation. Results revealed consistent voltage output and compatibility with biological tissues.

Researchers assessed the battery’s biocompatibility and observed minimal inflammatory responses and efficient metabolization of byproducts. 

Furthermore, tissue regeneration, including hair regrowth and blood vessel formation, was observed around the implant site.

Looking ahead, the research team aims to enhance the battery’s energy delivery by exploring alternative materials and optimizing its structure. 

They envision scaling up production and reducing costs to broaden its applications beyond medical devices.

The implications of this groundbreaking technology extend beyond medical devices. The battery’s ability to modulate oxygen levels may hold promise in cancer treatment, potentially starving cancer cells or delivering targeted therapies.

Speaking on the potential of the implantable battery, lead researcher Xizheng Liu emphasized its transformative impact on healthcare

With further advancements, this technology could change medical device technology and open avenues for innovative biotherapies.

The implantable battery marks a significant milestone in biomedical engineering. Its development shows the collaborative efforts of researchers striving to address critical healthcare challenges and improve patient outcomes.

As this innovative technology continues to evolve, it promises to reshape medical device technology and pave the way for novel therapeutic interventions. 

With its potential to enhance patient care and streamline medical procedures, the implantable battery heralds a new era in healthcare innovation.

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