Atransistorized, cardiac pacemaker which derives electrical energy directly from the myocardium and immediately returns stimuli to the heart has been developed.
A prototype of the miniaturized device now under development has been effective in dogs and in two humans. If the implantable model is successful in long-term clinical trials, the significance may be twofold, members of two Philadelphia research teams told The Journal:
Use of autogenous energy source obviates need for batteries and wires, thus eliminating the causes of approximately 40% of replacements or removals of conventional pacemakers in patients. Also, it is estimated that the implantable device will last approximately ten years or more. This compares with an estimate of two to five years maximum durability for some pacemakers now in use.
The research may open up a wide field of medical applications. With this technique it seems feasible that muscle control might be stimulated in other organs or