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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • May 17, 2011

Now A Turbine In Your Blood To Power Your Pacemaker

Poets may praise heart's passions, athletes may be advised to show heart, but for engineers heart is a pump. Well, at least, the latest innovation from Swiss engineers proves that. Engineers from Switzerland's University of Bern have designed and developed a 'Blood Turbine' that sits your arteries and generate power from the blood flow, just like a hydro turbine connected to a generator. Engineers found out that a normal human heart produces1 or 1.5 watts of hydraulic power and the pacemakers need only 10 microwatts. Alois Pfenniger a mechanical engineer by profession, presented the results his team obtained from experiments at Micro-technologies in Medicine and Biology conference in Switzerland. Of the three turbines his team has developed, the most efficient one develops 800 microwatt power. This means, the engineers and doctors together will be able to fit more power hungry equipments inside human body in near future.

Image: IEEE Spectrum

However, it will take some more time for these blood turbines to be production ready. Researchers fear that introduction of these turbines in blood flow will interrupt the uniform blood supply and may lead to blood clotting inside the arteries. That's why, they are evolving their design to make these devices smaller and less interrupting to the blood flow.

What's your opinion on Blood Turbines?


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