Powering and artificial heart?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of using a heat exchanger or a solar panel to concentrate heat energy into a smaller space for powering an artificial heart. The idea of using a person's body heat to heat nitinol muscle wire is also mentioned, along with the possibility of using induction for this purpose. There is also a question about whether a liquid cooling system could be used to bring the temperature of the wire back down without raising the person's blood temperature too much.
  • #1
Powering and artificial heart??

Is there any way that one can construct a heat exchanger that concentrates the energy from heat into a smaller space? Eg a big plate at a certain temperature which concentrates heat into a higher temperature in a smaller area. I'm thinking not. If you can't, is there something like a solar panel that can create electricity directly from heat?

What I'm thinking of is a way that you can use a persons body heat to heat nitinol muscle wire to power an artificial heart. The wire needs to be able to heat to 70 odd degrees C to spring back to it's original shape, so if you stretch it for example and apply heat, it will shrink back to it's original length.

Also, would it be possible to bring the temperature of the wire back down using some sort of internal liquid cooling system or would the disipationof heat increase your blood temperature too much?

Any ideas??

Raavin [?]
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  • #2
You can just use induction for that.
  • #3

The idea of using heat exchangers and nitinol muscle wire to power an artificial heart is certainly intriguing. While I am not an expert in this field, I believe there are ongoing research and development efforts exploring this concept. However, there are a few challenges that need to be addressed in order for this to become a viable solution.

Firstly, as you mentioned, the heat dissipation from the wire could potentially increase the body's temperature, which could have negative impacts on the person's health. It would be important to find a way to regulate the temperature and prevent overheating.

Additionally, the efficiency of converting heat into electricity is still relatively low compared to other forms of energy conversion such as solar panels. Therefore, the amount of heat needed to power the artificial heart may need to be quite significant, which could also have potential health implications.

Overall, while the concept of using body heat to power an artificial heart is interesting, it may require further advancements in technology and research in order to become a safe and effective solution.

1. How does an artificial heart receive power?

Artificial hearts can be powered in two ways: through an external power source or through an internal power source. In an external power source, the artificial heart is connected to a power supply through a wire. In an internal power source, the artificial heart is powered by a battery or rechargeable cells that are implanted in the body.

2. What type of power source is most commonly used for artificial hearts?

The most commonly used power source for artificial hearts is an internal battery or rechargeable cells. This allows for more mobility and independence for the patient, as they are not tethered to an external power source. However, in emergency situations, an external power source may be used.

3. How long does the battery last in an artificial heart?

The battery life varies depending on the specific artificial heart model and the usage of the patient. Generally, the battery can last anywhere from 4-12 hours. Some newer models have longer battery life and can last up to 24 hours.

4. Can an artificial heart be charged or replaced?

Yes, most artificial hearts that are powered by an internal battery or rechargeable cells can be charged or replaced. This is typically done during routine check-ups with a doctor. In some cases, the battery may need to be replaced if it becomes damaged or worn out.

5. Are there any risks associated with powering an artificial heart?

Like any medical procedure, there are risks associated with powering an artificial heart. These risks may include infection, bleeding, and device malfunction. However, with proper care and monitoring, these risks can be minimized. It is important for patients to follow their doctor's instructions and regularly check their artificial heart to ensure it is functioning properly.

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