A new oxygen-powered battery raises hopes of permanent pacemakers. 

Chinese researchers are working on a battery that operates on the body's own oxygen, for use in implantable medical devices. 

Traditionally, devices such as pacemakers and neurostimulators depend on batteries that, over time, deplete and require invasive surgeries for replacement. 

A new study details a novel battery design that harnesses the body's oxygen, offering a stable and biocompatible power source as demonstrated in rat models.

By tapping into the body’s continual oxygen supply, the concept seeks to circumvent the limitations imposed by traditional batteries' finite material lifespan.

The battery's design incorporates sodium-based alloy electrodes and nanoporous gold, selected for their biocompatibility and efficiency in oxygen-driven chemical reactions. 

Encased within a porous polymer for protection, this device has shown promising results in early tests, generating stable voltages without triggering adverse inflammatory responses or affecting the rats' major organs.

Despite its current inability to power high-demand devices like pacemakers, due to its modest power output, the study represents a crucial first step towards such capabilities. 

Moreover, the absence of significant inflammation and the surprising observation of blood vessel regeneration around the battery implant hint at additional therapeutic potentials, including cancer treatment applications.

Looking forward, the research team aims to enhance the battery’s power output through material and design improvements. 

The researchers are highly optimistic about the scalability and potential cost-effectiveness of this technology, alongside its broader implications for medical and biotherapeutic applications.

More details are accessible here.