As implantable medical devices become smaller and less power hungry, they are taking on a variety of new roles. What began as largely stationary objects, such as pacemakers and cochlear implants, are becoming small enough to actually pass through our bodies (i.e. in the form of pills) to deliver drugs and perform diagnostics.
Now, a new class of medical devices is emerging that adds a twist to the traditional implant: the devices are so small that they can travel through our bloodstream, not to mention are powered wirelessly via electromagnetic radio waves, according to Stanford electrical engineer Ada Poon.
By moving through the bloodstream, these tiny implants will be able to perform minor surgeries such as removing blood clots, Poon told an audience at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week.… Read more