EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2014

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breakthroughs 16 | Spring 2014 European Medical Device Technology emdt.co.uk Advances in Battery Technology Might Change the Way Implants are Powered Supplying energy to implantable devices is challenging. Materials used for batteries can be dangerous for patients and, thus, need to be encapsulated, which usually takes up a lot of space. And inductive charging can be difficult when the implant is placed under a bone. Recent break- throughs in battery technology might help to solve these problems, however. Researchers from the University of Illinois and Tufts University, for example, are working on biodegradable electronic components. These components could be used in implants that are only needed for a short period of time to deliver drugs or monitor wound healing, for instance. Upon completion of their task, the parts are designed to disintegrate in the body and don't need to be surgically removed. Until now, the researchers powered the devices inductively. However, the research team, led by John Rogers, has developed a battery mostly made from bioresorbable magne- sium. According to the journal Nature, a battery measuing 0.25 cm 2 made from these materials could someday yield a novel implantable sensor. The research team describes its work in Advanced Materials. Last year, a team led by Christopher Bettinger of Carnegie Mellon University, who was named by MIT Technology Review as one of the key "Innovators under 35," constructed a battery proto- type using melanin from cuttlefish that can be absorbed by the body within 24 hours. The researchers published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And scientists from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, have developed a technology that converts kinetic energy from everyday movements into electric power that can be used by implants, just like a dynamo in a bike. According to the scientists, it will take years of further development until the technology can be used to increase the lifetime of implanted medical devices, but it is a first step in that direction. —Thomas Klein How to Navigate Inside the Body German start-up Fiagon has developed a navigation system to better guide surgeons during minimally invasive interventions. Navigation systems for surgery are not new; they've been around since the 1980s. But they mostly use optical technologies, such as camera systems. And if something gets in the way, the cameras can't navigate. Fiagon's system uses an electromagnetic tracking system, however. The company embeds sensors into the tip of surgical instruments, which allows for the identi- fication of the exact position and orienta- tion of the tool. The sensors emit signals via induction. With help of an algorithm, the device is able to localize the instrument and transmit the image data to the endo- scope or microscope that is used for the surgery. Before a patient undergoes surgery, a 3-D map of the operation area is created using computed tomography (CT) or mag- netic resonance imaging (MRI). "You have to think of it as a navigation system in the car," says Timo Krüger, CEO and founder of Fiagon. "But, instead of the map, we use 3-D data of the head." The company was founded as a spin-off from the Berlin Charite. Initially financed by the VC High-Tech Gründerfonds, the company is now active in 38 markets and is currently seeking FDA approval. The company has won several awards and was one of the finalists for the German Busi- ness Innovation Award. —T.K. Dissolving Battery Components, Source: University of Illinois ES430899_EMDT1405_016.pgs 04.29.2014 03:34 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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