Shock-induced aluminum nitride based MEMS energy harvester to power a leadless pacemaker

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Jackson, Nathan
Olszewski, Oskar Zbigniew
O'Murchu, Cian
Mathewson, Alan
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Elsevier Ltd
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The next generation of implantable leadless pacemakers will require vibrational energy harvesters in order to increase the lifetime of the pacemaker. This paper reports for the first time the use of a piezoelectric MEMS linear energy harvester device that fits inside a pacemaker capsule. The silicon based MEMS cantilever device uses CMOS compatible Aluminum Nitride as the piezoelectric layer. The developed harvester operates based on a shock-induced vibration that is generated from the low frequency (60–240 beats per minute) high acceleration (>1 g) vibration of the heart. The off-resonance, high g impulses force the high-frequency harvester to oscillate at its resonant frequency. A power density of 97 and 454 μW cm−3 g−2 was achieved for a heart rate of 60 and 240 beats per minute respectively. The forced oscillation causes the linear harvester to dampen after 100–200 ms which reduces the average power compared to a typical sinusoidal excitation. A two and four cantilever system occupies 35% and 70% of the overall volume of the capsule while obtaining 2.98 and 5.96 μW respectively at a heart rate of 60 bpm respectively and 1 g acceleration. The results in this paper demonstrate that a shock-induced linear MEMS harvester can produce enough electrical energy from the vibration of a heart to power a leadless pacemaker while maintaining a small volume.
Aluminum nitride , Energy harvesting , MEMS , Pacemaker , Heart , Implantable
Jackson, N., Olszewski, O. Z., O'Murchu, C. and Mathewson, A. (2017) 'Shock-induced aluminum nitride based MEMS energy harvester to power a leadless pacemaker', Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 264, pp. 212-218. doi:10.1016/j.sna.2017.08.005
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