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Self-powered cardiac implantable devices enabled by energy harvesting from heart motions (HFUF2019)


Project Description

Nowadays, implantable medical devices are widely used in patient assistance, monitoring, and diagnosis. However, these devices are powered by batteries inside the implants that have limited discharging capability or via transcutaneous power leads connected to wearable batteries. Repeated surgical interventions are unavoidable in order to replace the implant due to either implanted battery depletion or implant infection due to the transcutaneous power lead. Energy harvesting devices could offer an alternative power source, for implantable medical devices to capture human motion and convert it into electricity for power the implant. Using such methods, battery replacement and power lead infections can be avoided. This reduces the risk of complications for the patient and may even reduce device size. However, challenges still exist in designing effective energy harvesting solutions to fully power such implanted electronics.

This project will investigate innovative energy harvesting solutions from human heart contractions. Devices near hearts such as pacemakers, defibrillators or bio signal (ECG) recorders would benefit from this self-powered solution. The main challenge within this project is how to obtain sufficient power within limited design space and this particular excitation. Energy harvesters and self-powered implants (pacemaker) will be designed and integrated according to system requirements. The PhD researcher will work with experts on energy harvesting and low-power sensing, as well as experts in biological engineering with excellent facilities. The applicants should have a strong interest in energy harvesting and low-power electronics, especially with the applications in medical devices.

Start date: 1 July, 1 October, 1 January, 1 April.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering or Electrical and Electronic Engineering) or a related subject.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Energy harvesting, nonlinear dynamics, low-power electronics. A willingness to learn new skills and solve research problems is compulsory. Applicants are encouraged to informally register their interests with the primary supervisor.

How to apply:

All applications are made online, please select the school/department name under the programme name section and include the quote reference number.

https://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/research-applications/

Funding Notes

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

Band RA (UK/EU: TBC; international: £17,200), Band RB (UK/EU: TBC; international: £22,350).

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