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Biophan’s Implantable Biothermal Power Source


Implantable biothermal power source generates electricity for implantable device from body heat

Image Credit: Biophan

Today I was going through some papers and found a 2005 brochure for Biophan’s implantable biothermal source – a 3 mm-thick power source for implantable devices capable of generating electricity from body heat.  This power source was being developed by Biophan in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center for Nanotechnology.

 The device is covered by U.S. Patent No. 6,640,137, “Biothermal power source for implantable devices” to Stuart G. MacDonald.   It is a power source based on the Seebeck Effect, which allows electrical energy to be generated by heat crossing and array of n and p junctions of a specialized semiconductor.  Biophan and NASA developed materials that matched the size, shape and number of semiconductor junctions to develop sufficient energy to power a pacemaker despite the very slight temperature difference between the body and the subcutaneous layer. 

Biophan in Pittsford, NY was founded by Michael Weiner and Wilson Greatbatch in December 2000 to develop solutions for making implantable devices compatible with MRI.  Biophan executed a license agreement with Boston Scientific Corporation in 2005, and sold its MRI safety patents to Medtronic for $11 million in 2007.   On July 10, 2009, Biophan Technologies sold to MyoCardioCare all of its interest related to direct mechanical ventricular actuation technology for mechanical support of the heart.  It’s uncertain whether Biophan is still in operation and developing this power source.

Company website: www.biophan.com


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