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      Energy harvesting for the implantable biomedical devices: issues and challenges

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          Abstract

          The development of implanted devices is essential because of their direct effect on the lives and safety of humanity. This paper presents the current issues and challenges related to all methods used to harvest energy for implantable biomedical devices. The advantages, disadvantages, and future trends of each method are discussed. The concept of harvesting energy from environmental sources and human body motion for implantable devices has gained a new relevance. In this review, the harvesting kinetic, electromagnetic, thermal and infrared radiant energies are discussed. Current issues and challenges related to the typical applications of these methods for energy harvesting are illustrated. Suggestions and discussion of the progress of research on implantable devices are also provided. This review is expected to increase research efforts to develop the battery-less implantable devices with reduced over hole size, low power, high efficiency, high data rate, and improved reliability and feasibility. Based on current literature, we believe that the inductive coupling link is the suitable method to be used to power the battery-less devices. Therefore, in this study, the power efficiency of the inductive coupling method is validated by MATLAB based on suggested values. By further researching and improvements, in the future the implantable and portable medical devices are expected to be free of batteries.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Wireless power transfer via strongly coupled magnetic resonances.

          Using self-resonant coils in a strongly coupled regime, we experimentally demonstrated efficient nonradiative power transfer over distances up to 8 times the radius of the coils. We were able to transfer 60 watts with approximately 40% efficiency over distances in excess of 2 meters. We present a quantitative model describing the power transfer, which matches the experimental results to within 5%. We discuss the practical applicability of this system and suggest directions for further study.
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            Design and optimization of resonance-based efficient wireless power delivery systems for biomedical implants.

            Resonance-based wireless power delivery is an efficient technique to transfer power over a relatively long distance. This technique typically uses four coils as opposed to two coils used in conventional inductive links. In the four-coil system, the adverse effects of a low coupling coefficient between primary and secondary coils are compensated by using high-quality (Q) factor coils, and the efficiency of the system is improved. Unlike its two-coil counterpart, the efficiency profile of the power transfer is not a monotonically decreasing function of the operating distance and is less sensitive to changes in the distance between the primary and secondary coils. A four-coil energy transfer system can be optimized to provide maximum efficiency at a given operating distance. We have analyzed the four-coil energy transfer systems and outlined the effect of design parameters on power-transfer efficiency. Design steps to obtain the efficient power-transfer system are presented and a design example is provided. A proof-of-concept prototype system is implemented and confirms the validity of the proposed analysis and design techniques. In the prototype system, for a power-link frequency of 700 kHz and a coil distance range of 10 to 20 mm, using a 22-mm diameter implantable coil resonance-based system shows a power-transfer efficiency of more than 80% with an enhanced operating range compared to ~40% efficiency achieved by a conventional two-coil system.
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              Feedback analysis and design of RF power links for low-power bionic systems.

              This paper presents a feedback-loop technique for analyzing and designing RF power links for transcutaneous bionic systems, i.e., between an external RF coil and an internal RF coil implanted inside the body. The feedback techniques shed geometric insight into link design and minimize algebraic manipulations. We demonstrate that when the loop transmission of the link's feedback loop is -1, the link is critically coupled, i.e., the magnitude of the voltage transfer function across the link is maximal. We also derive an optimal loading condition that maximizes the energy efficiency of the link and use it as a basis for our link design. We present an example of a bionic implant system designed for load power consumptions in the 1-10-mW range, a low-power regime not significantly explored in prior designs. Such low power levels add to the challenge of link efficiency, because the overhead associated with switching losses in power amplifiers at the link input and with rectifiers at the link output significantly degrade link efficiency. We describe a novel integrated Class-E power amplifier design that uses a simple control strategy to minimize such losses. At 10-mW load power consumption, we measure overall link efficiencies of 74% and 54% at 1- and 10-mm coil separations, respectively, in good agreement with our theoretical predictions of the link's efficiency. At 1-mW load power consumption, we measure link efficiencies of 67% and 51% at 1- and 10-mm coil separations, respectively, also in good accord with our theoretical predictions. In both cases, the link's rectified output dc voltage varied by less than 16% over link distances that ranged from 2 to 10 mm.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Biomed Eng Online
                Biomed Eng Online
                BioMedical Engineering OnLine
                BioMed Central
                1475-925X
                2014
                20 June 2014
                : 13
                : 79
                1475-925X-13-79
                10.1186/1475-925X-13-79
                4075616
                24950601
                Copyright © 2014 Hannan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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