Stanford engineers are developing a way to send power – safely and wirelessly – to "smart chips" programmed to perform medical tasks and report back the results.
Their approach involves beaming ultrasound at a tiny device inside the body designed to do three things:
- convert the incoming sound waves into electricity;
- process and execute medical commands; and
- report the completed activity via a tiny built-in radio antenna.
"We think this will enable researchers to develop a new generation of tiny implants designed for a wide array of medical applications," said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford.
Arbabian's team recently presented a working prototype of this wireless medical implant system at the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference in San Jose.
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Image credit: Arbabian Lab