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Implantable Batteries: Powering the Human Body in Unusual and Innovative Ways

2013 January 14

Quick – what do you think of if someone says to you “implantable battery”?  Nine out of ten people think pacemaker.  However, in just a few more years implantable batteries may well be ubiquitous in the human body.  A review of the OEM medical market shows many new applications for implantable batteries.  PEI is proud to be on the forefront of implantable battery technology.

For example, new cochlear implants for the severely hard-of-hearing combine a microphone, a speech processor, a transceiver, and an electrode array that collects the resulting audio impulses and directs them to the proper sections of the auditory nerve.  Likewise, a fascinating new treatment is under development called “deep brain stimulation” which also uses implantable batteries.  This  “pacemaker-like implanted device” stimulates parts of the brain threatened by dementia with tiny controlled electric pulses so it may provide the key to effective treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.  Clinical trials are also showing promising results treating major depression and even Tourette syndrome. Finally, within just the past few years, there have been startling developments in the treatment of various cancers by means of implantable drug infusion pumps.  Such pumps release a timed and measured dose of chemotherapy to a pinpoint region of a body that’s battling cancer.

The prospect of more “body-tech” health devices feels less revolutionary today than ten years ago due to advancing technology.  At PEI, we are thrilled that our specialty manufacturing experience in anodes and cathodes will help enable the future advances in implantable battery technology that will ultimately reduce pain, suffering and improve the quality of life the world over.

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