Each year, millions of patients improve their quality of life through medical implants. However, the implants require batteries which need to be replaced on a regular basis through surgery, introducing extra complications, cost and risk.
Rutgers researchers have developed a system comprised of software-hardware for far-field wireless power transfer to charge a medical implant residing in deep tissue of a humans. The novel technology is able to continuously charge the medical implant by using near-optimal beamforming power and is able to charge even when the implant moves in the body.
The technology uses a unique energy ball pattern of distributed antenna array and backscatter-assisted beamforming algorithm that concentrates RF energy on a tiny spot surrounding the medical implant. This allows for a very low radiation exposure level on other areas of the human body, reducing the risk of overheating.
A prototype system tested on a 10 cm-thick pork belly has achieved 0.37 mW average charging power when the implant is 2 m away. This charging power is sufficient to wirelessly power a range of commercial medical implantable devices. In addition, the system is adaptive and can correct for a moving target.
- Removes the need to wear cumbersome external charging devices
- Enables charging implants semi-remotely (within same room or proximal to the implant)
- Able to charge when the person moves around a room
- Provides a higher power gain compared with the state-of-the-art approach
- Wireless charging system used for medical implants including pacemakers, cardiac defibrillators, neuro-stimulator, and controlled drug release device
- Wireless communication system to collect biomedical data from the inbody sensors.
Intellectual Property & Development Status: Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.
Publication: MobiCom’ 20: Towards Flexible Wireless Charging for Medical Implants Using Distributed Antenna System