Piezoelectric Buckled Beam Array on a Pacemaker Lead for Energy Harvesting

Lin Dong, Chunsheng Wen, Yin Liu, Zhe Xu, Andrew B. Closson, Xiaomin Han, Gladys Patricia Escobar, Meagan Oglesby, Marc Feldman, Zi Chen, John X.J. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Self-sustainable energy generation represents a new frontier to significantly extend the lifetime and effectiveness of implantable biomedical devices. In this work, a piezoelectric energy harvester design is employed to utilize the bending of the lead of a cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator for generating electrical energy with minimal risk of interfering with cardiovascular functions. The proposed energy harvester combines flexible porous polyvinylidene fluoride–trifluoroethylene thin film with a buckled beam array design for potentially harvesting energy from cardiac motion. Systematic in vitro experimental evaluations are performed by considering complex parameters in practical implementations. Under various mechanical inputs and boundary conditions, the maximum electrical output of this energy harvester yields an open circuit voltage (peak to peak) of 4.5 V and a short circuit current (peak to peak) of 200 nA, and that energy is sufficient to self-power a typical pacemaker for 1 d. A peak power output of 49 nW is delivered at an optimal resistor load of 50 MΩ. The scalability of the design is also discussed, and the reported results demonstrate the energy harvester's capability of providing significant electrical energy directly from the motions of pacemaker leads, suggesting a paradigm for biomedical energy harvesting in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800335
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • cardiac energy harvesting
  • low frequency
  • porous PVDF–TrFE
  • thin film


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