MSc thesis project proposal

Piezoelectric energy harvester for pacemakers

Pacemakers are an example of success on how electronic devices can be used in medicine. More than half a million pacemakers are implanted every year in the world to treat arrhythmia. Classic pacemakers are implanted on the chest and have one or several electrode leads that connect to the heart for the application of electrical signals. Recent advances have given rise to smaller devices that can be fully introduced inside the heart and do not need leads, which reduces the likelihood of medical complications. Still, a big constraint for these devices is that they need to be replaced when the battery is over, typically 5-12 years after implantation. Pacemakers that do not rely on battery would prevent hundreds of thousands of surgical intervention, which would enormously impact people’s health and public expenditure.

In this, you will design and fabricate a piezoelectric microresonator to harvest mechanical energy to power pacemakers. The goal is to generate 1 µW of electrical power by using the acceleration associated to heart beats, with a spectrum in the 1-100 Hz.

[1] Anand, A., & Kundu, S. (2019). Design of a spiral-shaped piezoelectric energy harvester for powering pacemakers. Nanomaterials and Energy8(2), 139-150.

Assignment

  • Perform a literature review on the existing designs and performance metrics of piezoelectric energy harvesters.

  • Design, simulate and optimize a piezoelectric energy harvester for the described application.
  • Fabricate a device prototype, using the fabrication tools available at EKL.

  • Characterize the device with optical and electrical measurements.

Requirements

You must be motivated to learn and apply different techniques for fabricating new devices.

Contact

dr. Tomás Manzaneque

Electronic Instrumentation Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2022-10-10