By incorporating solar cells into wearable and implantable medical devices, the needs for charging or replacements are being eliminated.
FREMONT, CA: Medical implants and medical devices have proliferated to become a significant part of the modern medical industry. Complicated health conditions which could not be treated before are now treated easily, extending the life of patients. The explosive advances in technology have resulted in the development and advancement of many implantable medical devices. This trend of medical implants is continuing at a rapid rate, and medical implant developers are looking for innovative ways to scale efficiency. Solar power has emerged to be a perfect solution as it works effectively with medical implants. With solar power technology, implants can be made self-charging, eliminating the risk of breakdowns or risky replacements.
Conventionally, most electronic implants have been battery-powered. This means that battery volume is required for an extended life span. When the power in the batteries runs out, these implants have to be recharged or replaced. For that, patients have to undergo replacement surgeries, which is both expensive and stressful. Medical innovators are thus proposing solar power as an alternative for recharging implants. With solar cells, it is possible to convert light from the sun that penetrates the skin surface into energy. This energy is sufficient to completely power implants or at least increase the lifespan of active implants. By using energy accumulation devices such as solar cells to charge an implant, replacements become unnecessary, and the size of the implant also reduces dramatically.
Research in this technology shows that a 3.6 square centimeter solar cell can deliver more than enough power every day for a pacemaker even if it is placed beneath the skin. These solar cells also utilize energy accumulators, which stock surplus power for use during the night and low-light days. These accumulators are smaller in size than batteries since power can be quickly renewed once the solar cells are exposed to sunlight.
As per New Atlas, with further improvements of solar-powered medical implants could ultimately be implemented in patients, saving them from the pain of undergoing surgeries each time the battery of their devices runs out.
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