Revolutionary Light-Powered Pacemaker Redefines Cardiac Care

Researchers led by Pengju Li have developed a groundbreaking wireless pacemaker that operates on light energy, eliminating the need for batteries and offering a minimally invasive alternative for regulating heart rhythms. Published in Nature, their study introduces a leadless, ultrathin device composed of optic fibers and a silicon membrane, precisely stimulating cardiac muscles with light-activated pores. This innovation addresses common issues associated with conventional pacemakers, such as lead failure, tissue damage, and limited access to different heart regions, offering a promising solution for patients in need of electrical stimulation therapy.

The light-powered pacemaker, thinner than a human hair, molds seamlessly to the heart's surface, improving pacing accuracy and synchronized contraction while reducing post operative trauma and recovery time. Initial testing in rodents and adult pigs demonstrates its potential for translation to human patients, promising a less invasive approach to urgent cardiac conditions. Moreover, Li's team envisions broader applications beyond cardiac care, aiming to pioneer light-based therapies for neurostimulation, neuroprostheses, and pain management, revolutionizing treatment approaches for various neurodegenerative conditions.

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