António Abreu, a Sustainable Energy Systems PhD Student under the MIT Portugal Program, currently developing research work at LNEG (Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia I.P.) has developed a non-invasive battery recharger system for electronic implants that allows a longer life for the internal implantable devices in the human body such as, pacemakers, defibrillators, electric heart, delaying considerable the usual customary surgery intervention for replacement.

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According to the world health organization, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of deaths. On a last resource, patients with cardiovascular disease have to be aided through surgery and medical devices to help them perform the basic functions. Nevertheless medical devices, such as pacemaker that sends electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate and rhythm, need a source of energy and once the battery has run out they required a surgical procedure similar to the initial implantation to replace the device.

With the non-invasive battery recharger for electronic cardiac implants the need for a new surgical intervention is reduced, since it primes from being rechargeable, i.e. the patient will not need to be operated upon to change batteries every five to seven years, since these are rechargeable by irradiant electricity passing throA pacemaker device and an implantable coil prototypeA pacemaker device and an implantable coil prototypeugh the body. António Abreu adds that “The non-invasive battery also allows for a customize energy consumption of the cardiac implants, therefore the consumption of energy can be regulated to adapted to its function and patients’ pathology and activity. It guarantees the energetic supply of a communication channel between the exterior for diagnosis and/or implant reprogramming. In this case, there will be no demand of energy from the internal battery”.

The principle of the operation is the use of a high efficient Transcutaneous Power System. However, these typical systems use electronic converters witch generate hazard electromagnetic interferences (EMI) that causes damage to the implants as to the patients. The present innovation takes into account the Energy Efficiency in electric transmission systems without ferromagnetic cores, regarding medical application. In practice it eliminates the Gibbs phenomena.

The invention optimizes the energy flow determined by the regime of exploration previewed at the innovative Predictor-Corrector Abacus conception.

The Predictor-Corrector Abacus is a representation in the complex plan of a situation where a specific load is supplied by an electrical energy to the Active Power P, and Reactive Power Q. What characterizes this Abacus is the circumstance of considering the effect of the reactance and the resistance of longitudinal transmission lines that is evident at the figure by the position of the angles of segments lines that proliferate in the first and second quadrants of the Argand's complex plan. The best position of the segments lines defines the maximum of power transference without electromagnetic interferences.

As a research project, the prototype has won a prize by "2005´s Jaime Filipe Engineer Award" for the best innovative design that promotes autonomy and an honorable mention (2009).

primeThe Prototype, patented by António Abreu in the USA and in Europe with the collaboration and support of the PRIME (Incentive Program for the Modernization of the Economy) program and approved by the European Commission, was initially designed for pacemakers application but currently, and according to the medical development, new improved technics were made to be suitable for high power (and high voltages too) devices, such defibrillators, electric heart, insulin pumps or other type of implantable prosthesis.

Moreover, the same principle that allows the supply of lower energy voltages can be applied to improve the high power electrical transmission and distribution systems (electrical grid) to reduce costs due the consumer electric consumption, according to the results obtained.

In the media:

Medical News Today ; Medi Lexicon ; Medgadget ; Ubergizmo ; Science Daily  ; EurekAlert

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