Blog | Monday, November 10, 2008

SIMM City


Talk about energy conservation. A team of UK electrophysiologists have created a "microgenerator" that is powered by a beating heart, and produces nearly 17% of the electricity needed to operate a pacemaker.

This technology could eventually lead to smaller pacemakers that last longer and do more to monitor the heart, they said. The official name of the generator? "The self-energizing implantable medical microsystem", or SIMM.

Somehow, the gadget helps the heart produce more than enough energy per beat than is needed to pump blood. The extra energy is then "harvested." (Not surprisingly, the faster the heartbeat, the more energy is created.) Implanting and "harvesting" the energy didn't significantly injure the heart lining, by the way. Which is good.