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經濟學人:醫療設備:心臟起搏器

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For those whose hearts occasionally go off rhythm, pacemakers are, quite literally, life savers.

對那些心臟偶爾沒了節奏的人而言,心臟起搏器,毫不夸張地說,就是救生員。
By providing a small electrical jolt at the right moment, they can keep a heart working at the appropriate pace.
通過在恰當時候提供一小撮電流震動,它們可以讓心臟以適當的速度保持工作。
Their main drawback is that they use batteries. Even the best of them eventually run out of energy, and replacing the batteries requires surgery.
它們主要的缺點就是要用電池。即便是最好的起搏器最終也會耗盡能量,而替換電池需要進行手術。
Since surgery is generally best avoided, the search has been on for long-lasting power sources.
由于最好是避免手術,所以已經在尋找持久的能源。
Various options have been explored, including, in the 1970s, plutonium.
已經開發出了各種選擇方案,包括20世紀70年代的钚。
Nuclear-powered pacemakers have thankfully fallen out of fashion and today, devices with lithium batteries last between 5 and 15 years.
還好核能起搏器已經過時了,如今,鋰電池設備可以使用5到15年。
Zhang Hao of the Second Military Medical University, in Shanghai,
上海第二軍醫大學的張浩
and Yang Bin of Shanghai Jiao Tong University sought a way of recharging a pacemaker's battery by scavenging energy from inside the body.
和上海交通大學的楊斌找到了從身體內提供能量給起搏器電池充電的方法。

醫療設備:心臟起搏器.jpg

As they report in the journal ACS Nano they have used the heart muscle itself to power a tiny generator.

如他們在《ACS Nano》期刊中的報告所述,他們利用心臟肌肉為一個微型發電機充電。
Previous attempts to use cardiac muscle power to run pacemakers relied on piezoelectric materials.
之前使用心臟肌肉能量運行起搏器的嘗試是依賴于壓電材料。
These release electrons when deformed, and can be attached to beating hearts so that they are slightly bent with each heart beat, generating electricity.
這些材料在變形后會釋放電子,并且會吸附在跳動的心臟上,因此它們會隨著心臟的跳動而彎曲,從而發電。
This has worked, but not well enough: the output has rarely exceeded five microwatts, while most pacemakers require at least ten.
這種方法起作用了,但還不夠:發電量僅5微瓦特多一點,而大部分起搏器都需要至少10個微瓦特。
Dr Zhang and Dr Yang speculated that they could improve matters by arranging for their piezoelectric composites to be more dramatically deformed.
張浩和楊斌推測,他們可以通過讓壓電復合材料更加變形的方法改善這個問題。
First, they created a small capsule from a sheet of flexible polymer a tenth of a millimetre thick.
首先,他們用一種只有十分之一毫米厚的柔性聚合物制作了一顆小膠囊。
After compression, this capsule would return to its original shape.
這顆膠囊被壓縮后可以恢復原形。
They then attached strips of piezoelectric composite to either side of the capsule,
然后,他們在膠囊的兩邊系上了幾條壓電復合材料
attached electrodes to these strips, and covered the strips with a protective layer of silicone.
壓電復合材料中放入了電子,并用硅酮保護層蓋住這些材料。
This layout meant that the strips were slightly bent from the beginning and required only a tiny, brief pressure to generate 15 microwatts.
這種設計意味著開始材料會輕微彎曲且僅需要微小短暫的壓力就能產生15微瓦特的電。
The question was where to put the capsule, either in or on the heart, in order to get a similar effect.
問題是把這顆膠囊放在哪,要么是放在心臟里邊或心臟上邊才能獲得類似效果。
A study of cardiac anatomy suggested the pericardial sac, at the organ's base, would be ideal.
心臟解剖研究表明心臟底部的圍心囊是個理想的放置地點。
It would squeeze the capsule tightly as the heart contracted and still keep a firm grip on it when the heart was relaxed.
它可以隨著心臟的收縮輕微擠壓膠囊,且在心臟放松時,也能緊緊抓住。
To test this idea, the capsule's electrodes were attached to a commercial pacemaker that had had its battery removed,
為了測試這一想法,膠囊的電極被附在一個電池已被移除的商用起搏器上,
and surgically implanted into a 50kg Yorkshire pig. The capsule generated enough power for the pacemaker to function normally.
并將起搏器通過手術植入一只50公斤的約克夏豬體內。膠囊產生的能量足以讓起搏器正常運轉。
Whether such an arrangement will pass human trials remains to be seen.
這一裝置能否通過人體試驗還有待觀察。
But if it does, the days of pacemakers that need battery replacements, with all their associated surgery, may be numbered.
但是如果可以,需要聯合手術替換起搏器電池的日子或許屈指可數。

譯文由可可原創,僅供學習交流使用,未經許可請勿轉載。

重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
generator ['dʒenəreitə]

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n. 發電機,發生器

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infection [in'fekʃən]

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n. 傳染,影響,傳染病

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valve [vælv]

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n. 瓣膜,閥門,電子管,真空管

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compression [kəm'preʃ(ə)n]

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n. 壓縮,濃縮,壓緊

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rhythm ['riðəm,'riθəm]

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n. 節奏,韻律,格律,節拍

 
beat [bi:t]

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v. 打敗,戰勝,打,敲打,跳動
n. 敲打,

 
commercial [kə'mə:ʃəl]

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adj. 商業的
n. 商業廣告

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slightly ['slaitli]

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adv. 些微地,苗條地

 
surgery ['sə:dʒəri]

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n. 外科,外科手術,診所

 
generate ['dʒenə.reit]

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vt. 產生,發生,引起

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