Successful pacing using a batteryless sunlight-powered pacemaker.

Häberlin, Andreas; Zurbuchen, Adrian; Schaerer, Jakob; Wagner, Joerg; Walpen, Sébastien; Huber, Christoph; Haeberlin, Heinrich; Fuhrer, Jürg; Vogel, Rolf (2014). Successful pacing using a batteryless sunlight-powered pacemaker. Europace, 16(10), pp. 1534-1539. Oxford University Press 10.1093/europace/euu127

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AIMS Today's cardiac pacemakers are powered by batteries with limited energy capacity. As the battery's lifetime ends, the pacemaker needs to be replaced. This surgical re-intervention is costly and bears the risk of complications. Thus, a pacemaker without primary batteries is desirable. The goal of this study was to test whether transcutaneous solar light could power a pacemaker. METHODS AND RESULTS We used a three-step approach to investigate the feasibility of sunlight-powered cardiac pacing. First, the harvestable power was estimated. Theoretically, a subcutaneously implanted 1 cm(2) solar module may harvest ∼2500 µW from sunlight (3 mm implantation depth). Secondly, ex vivo measurements were performed with solar cells placed under pig skin flaps exposed to a solar simulator and real sunlight. Ex vivo measurements under real sunlight resulted in a median output power of 4941 µW/cm(2) [interquartile range (IQR) 3767-5598 µW/cm(2), median skin flap thickness 3.0 mm (IQR 2.7-3.3 mm)]. The output power strongly depended on implantation depth (ρSpearman = -0.86, P < 0.001). Finally, a batteryless single-chamber pacemaker powered by a 3.24 cm(2) solar module was implanted in vivo in a pig to measure output power and to pace. In vivo measurements showed a median output power of >3500 µW/cm(2) (skin flap thickness 2.8-3.84 mm). Successful batteryless VVI pacing using a subcutaneously implanted solar module was performed. CONCLUSION Based on our results, we estimate that a few minutes of direct sunlight (irradiating an implanted solar module) allow powering a pacemaker for 24 h using a suitable energy storage. Thus, powering a pacemaker by sunlight is feasible and may be an alternative energy supply for tomorrow's pacemakers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiovascular Surgery
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research

UniBE Contributor:

Häberlin, Andreas; Zurbuchen, Adrian; Schaerer, Jakob; Huber, Christoph and Fuhrer, Jürg

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

1099-5129

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sara Baumberger

Date Deposited:

20 Feb 2015 13:00

Last Modified:

27 Oct 2015 11:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/europace/euu127

PubMed ID:

24916431

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Batteryless pacemaker, Electrophysiology, Energy harvesting, Pacemaker, Pacing, Solar pacemaker

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.63475

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/63475

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