Energy harvesting through arterial wall deformation: A FEM approach to fluid–structure interactions and magneto-hydrodynamics

Pfenniger, Aloïs; Stahel, Andreas; Koch, Volker M.; Obrist, Dominik; Vogel, Rolf (2014). Energy harvesting through arterial wall deformation: A FEM approach to fluid–structure interactions and magneto-hydrodynamics. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 38(13), pp. 3325-3338. Elsevier 10.1016/j.apm.2013.11.051

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Engineers are confronted with the energy demand of active medical implants in patients with increasing life expectancy. Scavenging energy from the patient’s body is envisioned as an alternative to conventional power sources. Joining in this effort towards human-powered implants, we propose an innovative concept that combines the deformation of an artery resulting from the arterial pressure pulse with a transduction mechanism based on magneto-hydrodynamics. To overcome certain limitations of a preliminary analytical study on this topic, we demonstrate here a more accurate model of our generator by implementing a three-dimensional multiphysics finite element method (FEM) simulation combining solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, electric and magnetic fields as well as the corresponding couplings. This simulation is used to optimize the generator with respect to several design parameters. A first validation is obtained by comparing the results of the FEM simulation with those of the analytical approach adopted in our previous study. With an expected overall conversion efficiency of 20% and an average output power of 30 μW, our generator outperforms previous devices based on arterial wall deformation by more than two orders of magnitude. Most importantly, our generator provides sufficient power to supply a cardiac pacemaker.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE)

UniBE Contributor:

Pfenniger, Aloïs; Stahel, Andreas; Koch, Volker; Obrist, Dominik and Vogel, Rolf


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 510 Mathematics








Francesco Clavica

Date Deposited:

09 Apr 2014 22:05

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2015 09:52

Publisher DOI:





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