Performance analysis of a miniature turbine generator for intracorporeal energy harvesting

Pfenniger, Aloïs; Vogel, Rolf; Koch, Volker M; Jonsson, Magnus (2014). Performance analysis of a miniature turbine generator for intracorporeal energy harvesting. Artificial organs, 38(5), E68-E81. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/aor.12279

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Replacement intervals of implantable medical devices are commonly dictated by battery life. Therefore, intracorporeal energy harvesting has the potential to reduce the number of surgical interventions by extending the life cycle of active devices. Given the accumulated experience with intravascular devices such as stents, heart valves, and cardiac assist devices, the idea to harvest a small fraction of the hydraulic energy available in the cardiovascular circulation is revisited. The aim of this article is to explore the technical feasibility of harvesting 1 mW electric power using a miniature hydrodynamic turbine powered by about 1% of the cardiac output flow in a peripheral artery. To this end, numerical modelling of the fluid mechanics and experimental verification of the overall performance of a 1:1 scale friction turbine are performed in vitro. The numerical flow model is validated for a range of turbine configurations and flow conditions (up to 250 mL/min) in terms of hydromechanic efficiency; up to 15% could be achieved with the nonoptimized configurations of the study. Although this article does not entail the clinical feasibility of intravascular turbines in terms of hemocompatibility and impact on the circulatory system, the numerical model does provide first estimates of the mechanical shear forces relevant to blood trauma and platelet activation. It is concluded that the time-integrated shear stress exposure is significantly lower than in cardiac assist devices due to lower flow velocities and predominantly laminar flow.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE)

UniBE Contributor:

Pfenniger, Aloïs, Vogel, Rolf, Jonsson, Magnus








Francesco Clavica

Date Deposited:

09 Apr 2014 16:18

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:32

Publisher DOI:





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