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RE: [IP] Implantable Insulin Pumps - Batteries

Since I sent my original message the page has moved, so here's the full text
of the article from New Scientists archive:

Pacemakers that run on light

PEOPLE WITH PACEMAKERS face surgery every five to ten years to replace their
worn-out batteries. Researchers at Osaka University in Japan hope to avoid
this by building in a battery that can be recharged through the patient's

The prototype pacemaker measures 40 millimetres by 30 millimetres by 5
millimetres and is attached to a solar cell 20 millimetres square. The
researchers implanted the pacemaker in a mouse, with the solar cell 5
millimetres under the animal's skin. Shining a beam of laser light onto the
skin charged up the battery.

Because skin absorbs visible light, the researchers used near-infrared light
with a wavelength of around 860 nanometres. Skin is transparent at this
wavelength. The light was generated by the same type of laser used in CD

A two-hour charge kept the battery going for 22 hours. "Using the laser for
two hours a day is not dangerous. The patient receives about 30 per cent of
the safety limit of laser irradiation," says Osamu Nakamura, one of the
researchers. "But we're trying to reduce the charging time." Alternatively,
the charger can be adapted so that a longer charge will last for a
correspondingly longer time.

There are around 200 000 people in Japan with pacemakers. The average age of
these patients is falling, and with current technology their batteries would
need to be changed several times in the course of a normal lifetime.

The researchers say the system could be used for other internal medical
devices that rely on battery power, such as artificial inner ears or insulin

>From New Scientist, 4 September 1999

-----Original Message-----
From:	email @ redacted [mailto:email @ redacted]
Sent:	Saturday, September 04, 1999 09:52
To:	Insulin-Pumpers (US) (E-mail)
Subject:	[IP] Implantable Insulin Pumps - Batteries

Hello everyone,

Although Implantable Insulin Pumps are not yet an everyday reality research
continues. I came across this article yesterday relating to research on new
technology how to recharge implanted medical device batteries.

The article refers mostly to pacemakers, but last two words are, "Insulin

So if anyone is interested the site is :