Published on January 27th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Rap Music And The Medical Tool Of The Future
A new miniature medical device that can be powered through the sounds of rap music could soon be implanted in patients to help monitor and fix issues that include aneurisms and incontinence brought on by paralysis.
Scientists who invented the device found that the acoustic waves from rap music were effective in recharging the devices pressure sensor. The power source for the device is a vibrating cantilever, a thin beam attached at one end in the same way a diving board is attached to a swimming pool. Music that is listened to at at frequencies ranging from 200-500 hertz cause the cantilever to vibrate which in turn creates electricity which can be be stored in a capacitor.
While other forms of music are capable of providing the same frequencies it’s the usually low frequency of rap music with various bass beats that makes that music the best candidate for charging the systems capacitor.
Here’s the cool part, because bass beats and general rhythms in musical compositions change the frequency being listened to the sensor is able to alternate between storing charge and transmitting data.
According to one of the study’s researchers:
“You would only need to do this for a couple of minutes every hour or so to monitor either blood pressure or pressure of urine in the bladder,” while he adds, “It doesn’t take long to do the measurement.”
To operate the device would include a sensor that would be placed several inches from the patient, it would then play tones with a certain frequency range or music can be played in place of the receiver.
ScienceDaily explains what the device could potentially accomplish:
The sensor is capable of monitoring pressure in the urinary bladder and in the sack of a blood vessel damaged by an aneurism. Such a technology could be used in a system for treating incontinence in people with paralysis by checking bladder pressure and stimulating the spinal cord to close the sphincter that controls urine flow from the bladder. More immediately, it could be used to diagnose incontinence. The conventional diagnostic method now is to insert a probe with a catheter, which must be in place for several hours while the patient remains at the hospital.
The device was created in the Birck Nanotechnology Center at the university’s Discovery park and is make out of a ceramic material called lead zirconate titanate (PZT) which is piezolectric which means it generates electricity simply by being compressed. The device has so far been tested in a water-filled balloon.
The group of researchers will prevent findings of the project at the IEEE MEMS conference on Jan. 29 through Feb. 2 in Paris.
The paper was written by doctoral student Albert Kim, research scientist Teimour Maleki and lead by Purdue Unversity professor Babak Ziaie.