Design and Realization of an Energy Harvester Using Pulsating Arterial Pressure

Pfenniger, Aloïs; Wickramarathna, Lalith N.; Vogel, Rolf; Koch, Volker M. (2013). Design and Realization of an Energy Harvester Using Pulsating Arterial Pressure. Medical engineering & physics, 35(9), pp. 1256-1265. Elsevier 10.1016/j.medengphy.2013.01.001

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Most medical implants run on batteries, which require costly and tedious replacement or recharging. It is believed that micro-generators utilizing intracorporeal energy could solve these problems. However, such generators do not, at this time, meet the energy requirements of medical implants.This paper highlights some essential aspects of designing and implementing a power source that scavenges energy from arterial expansion and contraction to operate an implanted medical device. After evaluating various potentially viable transduction mechanisms, the fabricated prototype employs an electromagnetic transduction mechanism. The artery is inserted into a laboratory-fabricated flexible coil which is permitted to freely deform in a magnetic field. This work also investigates the effects of the arterial wall's material properties on energy harvesting potential. For that purpose, two types of arteries (Penrose X-ray tube, which behave elastically, and an artery of a Göttinger minipig, which behaves viscoelastically) were tested. No noticeable difference could be observed between these two cases. For the pig artery, average harvestable power was 42 nW. Moreover, peak power was 2.38 μW. Both values are higher than those of the current state of the art (6 nW/16 nW). A theoretical modelling of the prototype was developed and compared to the experimental results.

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) > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (Blood Vessel)

UniBE Contributor:

Pfenniger, Aloïs; Vogel, Rolf and Koch, Volker


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








Francesco Clavica

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2014 09:16

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2015 09:52

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Energy harvesting, Medical implants, Arterial energy scavenging, Electromagnetic induction




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