Paris — On Tuesday, scientists unveiled a battery-free pacemaker that generates its energy from the heartbeats of pigs in what could pave the way for an “implant for life” in humans suffering from heart defects. Millions of patients rely on pacemakers — small electrical implants in the chest of abdomen — to help regulate their heartbeats after chronic or acute illness. Even with recent technological advances, pacemaker batteries can be rigid or bulky, and may need replacing several times over the lifespan of a device. Energy harvesters, which generate electricity from pulses sent by the body, have shown to be effective in recent years, but only in small animals such as rats, as well as cell models with low energy demands. Now, researchers in China and the US believe they have successfully completed trials with a self-powered pacemaker in adult pigs — an animal remarkably physiologically similar to humans. The animals selected suffered from irregular heartbeat similar to human pacema...

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