Scientists from Northwestern and George Washington universities in the U.S. developed the first transient pacemaker, which is a wireless, battery-free, fully implantable pacing device that completely dissolves in the body when a patient doesn’t need it anymore.
This device, which is thin and flexible, can be used in patients who need temporary pacing after heart surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. It also doesn’t need any battery, as it takes energy from an external, remote antenna using near-field communication protocols. This technology is used in smartphones for electronic payments and in RFID tags.
One of the lead researchers, Igor Efimov from the George Washington University, says: “The transient electronics platform opens an entirely new chapter in medicine and biomedical research. The bioresorbable materials at the foundation of this technology make it possible to create a whole host of diagnostic and therapeutic transient devices for monitoring the progression of diseases and therapies, delivering electrical, pharmacological, cell therapies, gene reprogramming, and more.”