Navigation Links
Harnessing Human Energy for Medical Good

Device could use act of walking to power artificial limbs, insulin pumps, pacemakers,,,,

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Anyone who has ever watched a frenetic toddler bouncing around a room has wondered if there might be some way to harvest all of that energy.

While no one has quite figured out how to bottle youthful exuberance, a team of Canadian and U.S. researchers has found a way to capture human energy so it could help people with medical devices such as prosthetic limbs, artificial pacemakers or insulin pumps power their devices using their own energy.

The concept is as simple as it is elegant: The energy is produced and harnessed through walking.

"The main idea is to harvest energy from walking in a manner that you can get electricity without increasing effort," explained study author Max Donelan, a professor in the school of kinesiology at the Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, and chief science officer of Bionic Power Inc., a company formed to develop the energy-harvesting device.

"To design useful ways of producing power for people, you have to understand physiology and take advantage of some of the uneconomical ways we use our bodies," explained Donelan. "Stop and go driving is inefficient, but sometimes you have to do it. You can't always drive on the highway."

Similarly, he said, people have to stop and go all the time. "It's inefficient and unfortunate, but we can take advantage of it for energy harvesting," he noted.

Much like a hybrid car that captures energy that is normally dissipated, the biomechanical energy harvester captures energy from the deceleration phase of walking. To do this, the harvester actually assists with the slowing down phase of a step.

"The generator helps slow the motion of the knee at the right time, and you can get substantial electricity with minimal effort," said Donelan.

An adult walking at a relatively fast pace wearing the harvester -- which looks like a knee brace and weighs just over three pounds -- can generate 13 watts of electricity in one minute. That means you could get about six minutes of laptop computer time for one minute of fast walking. A low-effort walk would produce about five watts of power, which would give you roughly two and half minutes of laptop time, according to Donelan.

Results of the study are published in the Feb. 8 issue of Science.

The potential uses for such a device are many and varied, he said. Apart from powering laptops and cell phones in remote places, the harvester could be used to power pacemakers or implanted insulin pumps. It could also be used to help move robotic limbs.

The technology's current uses are limited by its expense, though Donelan said as they continue to work on the device, they hope its weight and price will eventually come down.

Dr. Gerard Varlotta, director of sports rehabilitation at the New York University Medical Center's Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine/Hospital for Joint Diseases, said he thought the study was very interesting, but he "wasn't convinced that it's practical."

Varlotta said he's also concerned that if the device helps to slow the muscle down, if it's used extensively, it could actually cause the muscle to atrophy, because the muscle isn't being used in the way it's naturally used.

If it's used in people that already have a problem walking, such as someone with multiple sclerosis, "it could weaken the muscle further and accentuate the original problem," said Varlotta.

"It would be interesting to see the effects this device will have with long-term use," he said. "They'll have to exercise caution when taking this from normal muscle to pathological [diseased] muscle."

More information

To learn more about robotic limbs that someday might be able to use this type of energy, visit the Society for Neuroscience.

SOURCES: Max Donelan, Ph.D., professor, school of kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and chief science officer, Bionic Power Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Gerard Varlotta, M.D., director, sports rehabilitation, New York University Medical Center, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine/Hospital for Joint Diseases, and clinical associate professor, New York University School of Medicine; Feb. 8, 2008, Science

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
2. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
3. Human Papilloma Virus vaccines may decrease chances of oral cancer
4. Investigational Agent Targeting Metabotropic Glutamate 2/3 Receptors Demonstrates Antipsychotic Activity in Humans, Study in Nature Medicine Finds
5. MassMutual Promotes Debra Palermino to Senior Vice President of Human Resources
6. Toddler Study Proves Humans Outsmart Apes
7. Human C-reactive protein regulates myeloma tumor cell growth and survival
8. Altered expression of ultraconserved noncoding RNAs linked to human leukemias and carcinomas
9. AtriCure Reports First Human Implant of the Cosgrove-Gillinov Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion System
10. New class of RNA molecules may be important in human cancer
11. The Humana Foundation and Libraries for the Future Launch Health Literacy Pilot in Atlanta
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Harnessing Human Energy for Medical Good
(Date:10/10/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Story Chaser is a one-of-a-kind app that makes ... and inspiring stories and as words drop down and users tap the corresponding word. ... and can be interacted with, making it a more engaging game. Users can use ...
(Date:10/10/2015)... ... 2015 , ... In the inaugural people’s choice contest, entitled Bold City Best ... Jacksonville, amongst medium-sized companies with 25 – 99 employees. The announcement was made in ... gala on October 1st. , Many of the features of the company that ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 2015 , ... For many, October is a month whose focus has long ... find a cure. At Beverly Hills Physicians in Southern California, it is also a ... Collection Campaign, Beverly Hills Physicians is encouraging patients and non-patients alike to donate their ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... ... Smoke alarms can save lives. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection ... fires in half. As part of Fire Prevention Week, Amica Insurance is ... Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 09, 2015 , ... Matrix IT Medical Tracking Systems LLC, ... the world’s first sterile field scanner. , The TRACTUS platform was ... recent Unique Device Identifier (UDI) Final Rule, which will require manufacturers to directly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
... Acquisition to Broaden the Product Offering of ... RoundTable Healthcare Partners ("RoundTable"), an operating-oriented ... healthcare industry, announced today that its portfolio ... leading full-service supplier of instruments, implants, and ...
... AvailableWASHINGTON, May 1 As H1N1 influenza A (swine ... most important ways to prevent infection and illness. ... simplest intervention you can do to protect yourself and ... the American Society for Microbiology."Influenza A viruses, of which ...
... at 2009 Dish benefitSAINT PAUL, Minn., May 1 ... hunger-relief organization, has honored David Nasby, former vice ... of the nation,s first food bank network, with ... recognizes outstanding individual contributions to hunger relief."I am ...
... Support the Board,s Strategy and Vote the BLUE Proxy Card ... Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMLN ) today announced ... with the Company,s Annual Meeting of Stockholders on May 27, ... Amylin,s Directors on the BLUE proxy card today and reject ...
... of Iraq and ... To help ease the transition and readjustment challenges ... Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) joined the Ad Council today to ... their Veteran Support Campaign. Launched on Veterans Day 2008, the first ...
... helping people with back pain return to work will be ... Leicester. , It is estimated that it costs society in ... time off work because of back pain. Around 80% of ... lost work production and associated wage replacement benefits. , ...
Cached Medicine News:
(Date:10/9/2015)... Ontario , Oct. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... radiology furniture, monitor mounting solutions and reading ... Hospital,s Department of Pediatric Radiology realize their ... RedRick Technologies provided ergonomic design guidance and ... clinical collaboration and teaching. George ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... , October 9, 2015 ... --> The report summarizes key ... overall status of the manufacturers making ... and direction for companies and individuals ... . --> ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... PHILADELPHIA , October 9, 2015 ... Conference, Oct. 7-9   ... information products and services, today launched ClinicalKey for Nursing ... authoritative content, tailored to meet the unique needs of nursing ... in Atlanta , Oct. 7-9, will have ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
... CeQur SA, a company focused on the development ... management of type 2 diabetes, announced the appointment of ... directors, effective immediately. , Milledge is a 34-year ... recently served as company group chairman of Lifescan Inc., ...
... , PITTSBURGH, Oct. 6 Foundation Radiology Group ... services, headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, recently added Shawn ... growing staff. , Kramer, a 20-year client services ... AT&T Wireless Services, Ceridian, and XO Communications. , ...
Cached Medicine Technology:
Extremely wide blade opening. Excellent bio and MRI compatibility. Lot number on each clip. Long reliable history. Fenestrated large type 1/1 (mm), opening width 8.0 mm and length 7.5 mm....
Extremely wide blade opening. Excellent bio and MRI compatibility. Lot number on each clip. Long reliable history. Fenestrated large type 1/1 (mm), opening width 7.0 mm and length 10 mm....
Extremely wide blade opening. Excellent bio and MRI compatibility. Lot number on each clip. Long reliable history. Large type 1/1 (mm), opening width 10.0 mm and length 10 mm....
Extremely wide blade opening. Excellent bio and MRI compatibility. Lot number on each clip. Long reliable history. Large type 1/1 (mm), opening width 8.0 mm and length 9 mm....
Medicine Products: