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. Continue reading