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Technical Brief

A Prototype of an Implantable Thermoelectric Generator for Permanent Power Supply to Body Inside a Medical Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Yang Yang

e-mail: yangy@mail.ipc.ac.cn

Guo Dong Xu

Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering,
and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China

Jing Liu

Beijing Key Laboratory of Cryo-Biomedical Engineering,
and Key Laboratory of Cryogenics,
Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry,
Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Beijing 100190, China
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
School of Medicine, Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 1, 2013; final manuscript received September 26, 2013; published online December 6, 2013. Editor: Gerald E. Miller.

J. Med. Devices 8(1), 014507 (Dec 06, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: MED-13-1202; doi: 10.1115/1.4025619 History: Received September 01, 2013; Revised September 26, 2013

Embedding a thermoelectric generator (TEG) in a biological body is a promising way to supply electronic power in the long term for an implantable medical device (IMD). It can resolve the service life mismatch between the IMD and its battery. This paper is dedicated to developing a real prototype, which consists of an implanted TEG and a specified boosted circuit. Two implanted TEG modules were constructed and a boosted circuit with a highly integrated DC/DC converter was fabricated to stabilizing the energy output and improving the voltage output for the implanted TEG. According to the experiments, such a device combination was already capable of supporting a clock circuit in the in vivo rabbit whose power consumption is much higher than an ordinary cardiac pacemaker. Meanwhile, a close to reality theoretical model was established for characterizing the implanted TEG. This study is expected to serve as a valuable reference for future designs of the implanted TEG and its boosted circuit.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) The schematic circuit diagram of the boosted circuit, (b) fabrication drawing of the boosted circuit, and (c) physical image of the boosted circuit

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Fig. 2

Sketch of two implanted TEG modules

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Fig. 3

Sketch of the setup of TEG in in vivo experiment

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Fig. 4

(a) Temperature of TEG junctions and rabbit rectum, and (b) temperature difference across the TEG and the output voltage of the TEG module and boosted circuit

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Fig. 5

(a) Clock circuit signal output driven by the single TEG module and boosted circuit, and (b) clock circuit signal output in a single pulse

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Fig. 6

(a) Temperature of TEG junctions and rabbit rectum, and (b) temperature difference across the TEG and the output voltage of the TEG module and boosted circuit

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Fig. 7

(a) Clock circuit signal output driven by the multistage TEG module and boosted circuit, and (b) clock circuit signal output in a single pulse

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Fig. 8

Simplified two-layer living body implanted with the TEG which includes the thermopiles and ceramic insulation films along the dimension x

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Fig. 9

(a) Steady-state temperature distribution along the dimension x in the calculation domain, and (b) the temperature difference crossing the single TEG and the calculated output voltage and maximum power of the TEG

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Fig. 10

(a) The temperature difference crossing the TEG, and (b) the calculated output voltage and maximum power of the TEG

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