The cardiac pacemaker of the future could be powered by the heart itself, according to researchers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. During the AIP Publishing Horizons—Energy Storage and Conversion virtual conference, running today through Aug. 6, Yi Zhiran, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is presenting research on a way for a batteryless pacemaker to harvest kinetic energy from the heart to power the lifesaving device. Current cardiac pacemakers use a battery power supply and leads to keep hearts beating regularly. Yi and his group are investing in batteryless powering and leadless pacing, but the challenge has been to obtain sufficient power by scavenging heart kinetic energy. “If the practical force of the heart is 0.5 newtons, the output power should be about 192 microwatts,” Yi said. “Therefore, for the commercial pacemaker, just about no less than 10 microwatts is sufficient for its normal work.” The energy is harvested by the buckling of the encapsulated structure of the pacemaker, creating buckled piezoelectric energy. This method of power supply varies greatly from current pacemaker designs. Yi said the batteryless pacemaker is in the feasible verification phase. He said his group is working to overcome drawbacks such as the long-term stability in vivo, the implanting method, and the integration between the rigid pacing chip and the flexible energy harvesting unit.