Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the not-for-profit Charles Stark Draper Laboratory have developed a method for wirelessly powering ingestible electronic devices.
The technique employs wireless power transfer from an outside antenna to another antenna within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The researchers say by staying in the digestive tract indefinitely, the device could monitor physiological functions or changes, or deliver drugs.
Research team member Abubakar Abid says using midfield transmission enabled the delivery of 100 to 200 microwatts of power to the device, which is more than sufficient to run small electronics.
A study involving pigs demonstrated the method held no danger of tissue damage, with the outside antenna transferring power in a 2-cm to 10-cm range.
"It's really a proof of concept in establishing an alternative to batteries for the powering of devices in the GI tract," says MIT's Giovanni Traverso.
From MIT News
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