Energy Harvesting by Subcutaneous Solar Cells: A Long-Term Study on Achievable Energy Output

Bereuter, Lukas David; Williner, Sebastian; Pianezzi, Fabian; Bissig, Benjamin; Buecheler, Stephan; Burger, Jürgen; Vogel, Rolf; Zurbuchen, Adrian; Haeberlin, A. (2017). Energy Harvesting by Subcutaneous Solar Cells: A Long-Term Study on Achievable Energy Output. Annals of biomedical engineering, 45(5), pp. 1172-1180. Springer 10.1007/s10439-016-1774-4

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Active electronic implants are powered by primary
batteries, which induces the necessity of implant replacement
after battery depletion. This causes repeated interventions in
a patients’ life, which bears the risk of complications and is
costly. By using energy harvesting devices to power the
implant, device replacements may be avoided and the device
size may be reduced dramatically. Recently, several groups
presented prototypes of implants powered by subcutaneous
solar cells. However, data about the expected real-life power
output of subcutaneously implanted solar cells was lacking so
far. In this study, we report the first real-life validation data
of energy harvesting by subcutaneous solar cells.
Portable light measurement devices that feature solar cells
(cell area = 3.6 cm2) and continuously measure a subcutaneous
solar cell’s output power were built. The measurement
devices were worn by volunteers in their daily routine in
summer, autumn and winter. In addition to the measured
output power, influences such as season, weather and human
activity were analyzed. The obtained mean power over the
whole study period was 67 uW (=19 uW cm-2), which is
sufficient to power e.g. a cardiac pacemaker.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Bereuter, Lukas David; Vogel, Rolf; Zurbuchen, Adrian and Häberlin, Andreas David Heinrich

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

0090-6964

Publisher:

Springer

Funders:

[UNSPECIFIED] Velux Foundation ; [UNSPECIFIED] Swiss Heart Foundation ; [UNSPECIFIED] Bern University Hospital ; [UNSPECIFIED] Stiftung für Herzschrittmacher und Elektrophysiologie

Language:

English

Submitter:

Lukas David Bereuter

Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2017 07:54

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2021 18:19

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10439-016-1774-4

PubMed ID:

28050727

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Solar cells, energy harvesting, medical implants, electronic implants, study, feasibility, long-term, subcutaneous

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.92636

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/92636

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