Scientists have developed the world's first pacemaker that dissolves in the body. Created by Northwestern and George Washington Universities in the United States, the wireless, battery-free, fully implantable device disappears after it’s no longer needed. The thin, flexible, lightweight device could be used in patients who need temporary pacing after cardiac surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. All components of the pacemaker are biocompatible and naturally absorb into the body’s biofluids over the course of five to seven weeks.The device wirelessly harvests energy from an external, remote antenna using near-field communication protocols. This eliminates the need for bulky batteries and rigid hardware, including wires or leads. Not only can leads introduce infections, they also can become enveloped in scar tissue, causing further damage when removed. Researchers behind the device hope it could soon be used in place of temporary pacemakers, which require invasive surgery to remove.
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