University of Auckland scientists have developed a technology capable of using magnetic fields to wirelessly power a heart pump from outside a patient’s body.
Wire-provided power causes a host of problems,: they can break, cause infection, and they restrict the movement of wearers. The new wireless power, however, means that the pump has power 24 hours a day for any length of time – an important consideration, as heart pumps are generally used for patients whose hearts are failing and who are waiting for donor hearts.
While the idea is not new, previous attempts resulted in high temperatures, and hence were too dangerous to use. A company, TETCor, has been formed to commercialise the technology, and licenses have already been issued to a US medical company.
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