Pacemakers can be adapted so they can be charged using energy from heartbeats.
Currently: About one million people a year worldwide have a pacemaker implanted to help keep their heart beating at a normal rhythm. However, they have limited battery life, so people who have them have to undergo surgery to replace the batteries on a five-to-ten-year basis.
Beating in time: A small device can modify pacemakers so that they use kinetic energy from the heart’s beating, converting it into electricity to keep the batteries charged. The researchers added a thin piece of polymer to existing pacemakers, which converts motion into electricity, they explain in Advanced Materials Technologies.
Next steps: The first round of animal studies has just been completed. The team hopes the pacemakers could be available for humans within the next five years.
This story first appeared in our newsletter The Download. Sign up here to get your daily dose of the latest in emerging tech.
How scientists want to make you young again
Research labs are pursuing technology to “reprogram” aging bodies back to youth.
Human brain cells transplanted into baby rats’ brains grow and form connections
When lab-grown clumps of human neurons are transplanted into newborn rats, they grow with the animals. The research raises some tricky ethical questions.
Inside the billion-dollar meeting for the mega-rich who want to live forever
Hope, hype, and self-experimentation collided at an exclusive conference for ultra-rich investors who want to extend their lives past 100. I went along for the ride.
The debate over whether aging is a disease rages on
In its latest catalogue of health conditions, the World Health Organization almost equated old age with disease. Then it backed off.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.