This Is a Blood-Powered Heart Turbine

Swiss scientists designed a small blood-powered turbine that would fit in arteries and power internal electronics like a pacemaker. Each turbine can produce 800 microwatts of energy which is far greater than the ten microwatts used by a pacemaker.


The implantable device would function like a mini hydroelectric generator that uses your blood instead of water. As long as your heart is beating, the turbine will generate an endless supply of power. Eventually, this technology could replace battery-powered pacemakers which have a limited life span. Don't worry about having to give up a major blood vessel as the device would be placed in the thoracic artery, an extra blood vessel often removed in heart surgery.

Though promising, the mini-turbines have one major drawback — life-threatening blood clots! The team is looking at ways to cut the risk of blood clots, but that would be one heck of a side effect to have to list on the product information sheet. [Spectrum IEEE]

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