Finally, the last piece of the puzzle. Wireless power transfer - into the body!
Implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers, have significantly improved healthcare and reduced drug dependance in certain treatments. However, the applications of implantable devices remain limited due to the dependance on large batteries that restrict where these devices can be implanted.
Wireless power transfer have enabled researchers to decrease the size of implantable devices to smaller than a grain of rice. Programmable micro-implants could stimulate neurons in the brain or deliver drugs directly to affected areas. Although the commercial application will take several year to satisfy safety requirements, there is hope for a new generation of healthcare.
The technology could provide a path toward a new type of medicine that allows physicians to treat diseases with electronics rather than drugs. “We need to make these devices as small as possible to more easily implant them deep in the body and create new ways to treat illness and alleviate pain,” said Poon.