Flexible Energy Harvester on a Pacemaker Lead Using Multibeam Piezoelectric Composite Thin Films

Zhe Xu, Congran Jin, Andrew Cabe, Danny Escobedo, Nanjing Hao, Ian Trase, Andrew B. Closson, Lin Dong, Yuan Nie, James Elliott, Marc D. Feldman, Zi Chen, John X.J. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Implantable medical devices, such as cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, rely on batteries for operation. However, conventional batteries only last for a few years, and additional surgeries are needed for replacement. Harvesting energy directly from the human body enables a new paradigm of self-sustainable power sources for implantable medical devices without being constrained by the battery's limited lifetime. Here, we report the design of a multibeam cardiac energy harvester using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-infilled microporous P(VDF-TrFE) composite films. We first added ZnO nanoparticles and multiwall carbon nanotubes into microporous P(VDF-TrFE) films to increase the energy output. The mixing ratios of 30% ZnO and 0.1% MWCNTs yielded 3.22 ± 0.24 V output, which resulted in a voltage output 46 times higher than that of pure P(VDF-TrFE) films. Next, we discovered that the voltage generated by the composite film with PDMS is approximately 105% higher than that of the one without PDMS. For the application in cardiac pacemakers, we developed a facile fabrication method by building a cylindrical multibeam device that resides on the pacemaker lead to harvest energy from the complex motion of the lead driven by the heartbeat. Since the energy harvesting component is integrated into the pacemaker, it significantly reduces the risks and expenses associated with pacemaker-related surgeries. This work paves the way toward the new generation of energy harvesters that will benefit patients with a variety of implantable biomedical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34170-34179
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • P(VDF-TrFE) composite
  • energy harvesting
  • multibeam amplification
  • pacemaker lead
  • piezoelectric


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