How many of you know that there's a natural power source hidden deep inside your ears? Frankly speaking, we had no clue until we got the news from MIT researchers that there's a chamber filled with ions inside our ears that produces electric potential to drive the neural signals. A team of researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology have demonstrated a tiny chip that can power the implanted medical devices without affecting hearing.
In their experiments, the researchers implanted electrodes in the biological batteries present in guinea pigs’ ears. These electrodes were then coupled with the low power electric devices specially developed by Microsystems Technology Laboratories. The devices were able to transmit the data about the chemical conditions of the ear to the external receivers.
The power source, the researchers say, is present in every mammalian ear. The vibrations of the eardrums are converted into an electrochemical signal that can reach the brain for further processing. The researchers however believe that there's lot needs to be done before they can get the technology into the mainstream.
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