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Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in Science |

Create the first device operated power cells within the ear

Create the first device operated power cells within the ear

(C) MIT

For the first time, a team of MIT researchers were able to create an electronic self sized to be inserted into the and feeds exclusively on the energy of the electrochemical gradient of certain cells within the cochlea.

The device-an electronic chip with many low-resistance electrode was inserted into the inner ear of a guinea pig with the electrodes connected to opposite sides of the cochlea, and was capable of collecting a small amount of electric energy without damaging the ear or hearing.

The device was connected to a radio transmitter, and was able to feed power for about five hours. This means that the technique could one day be used to deliver an autonomous power source to cochlear implants, or a device inserted into the brain.

Now the challenge is to redesign the device to have a smaller size, because it very well could be used for longer, but was withdrawn from the guinea pig because there was a risk of damaging delicate tissues inside the ear.

Link: Medical devices powered by the ear itself (MIT News)

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