Scientists and Researchers at Northwestern and George Washington universities (GW) have recently developed the first-ever transient pacemaker—a wireless, battery-free, fully implantable pacing device that automatically disappears after it's no longer needed. Researchers have tested the device across a series of large and small animal models.
The new pacemaker is a thin, flexible, lightweight device used in patients who need temporary pacing after cardiac surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. Every component used to make the pacemaker is biocompatible and is naturally absorbed into the body's biofluids over the course of five to seven weeks without needing any surgical extraction.
The device can provide energy from an external, remote antenna that primarily uses the near-field communication protocols, similar technology used in smartphones for electronic payments and RFID tags. This innovation will eliminate the need for bulky batteries and rigid hardware, including wires (or leads), that cause severe infections, and they can also become enveloped in scar tissue, causing further damage when removed. The study was published on June 28, 2021, in the journal Nature Biotechnology.