Key Events in the Evolution of Implantable Pacemaker Batteries

  • Boone B. Owens
  • Alvin J. Salkind


The successful development of implantable cardiac pacemakers has been facilitated by the merging of the relevant technologies in electronics and power sources. The mercury/zinc oxide battery was a key component in the initial development of implantable pulse generators and that battery system is closely associated with the name of Dr. Samuel Ruben (Fig. 1). Subsequently, the lithium/iodine battery was developed for hermetically sealed, longer-lived pulse generators, and this development has been closely associated with the name of Dr. Wilson Greatbatch (Fig. 2). Both of these men are recognized as outstanding inventors and have been creative in a number of technologies.


Vanadium Pentoxide Battery System Implantable Pulse Generator Sulfuryl Chloride Mercuric Oxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Interview with Dr. Samuel Ruben by A. J. Salkind, Palm Springs, California, January 23, 1983.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. U. Falk and A. J. Salkind, Alkaline Storage Batteries, pp. 32–34, Wiley, New York (1969).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Samuel Ruben, “Inventors and Society—Response to Industrial Needs,” Columbia University, Armstrong Memorial Lecture, (1981).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Samuel Ruben, Inventors and Society, Columbia Eng. Alumni Times, Vol. 23, No. 1 (1982).Google Scholar
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    Henry B. Linford, Samuel Ruben—Acheson Medalist J’. Electrochem. Soc, 118, 11c–13c (1971).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Samuel Ruben, U.S. Patent Capacitor (1925).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Interview with Dr. Wilson Greatbatch by Boone B. Owens, Clarence, New York. January 13, 1983.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    G. Antonioli, F. Baggioni, F. Consiglio, G. Grassi, R. Lerrun, and F. Zanardi, Implantable cardiac pacemakers with a new solid state lithium battery, Minerva Med. 64, 2298–2304 (1973).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boone B. Owens
    • 1
  • Alvin J. Salkind
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Bioengineering SectionUMDNJ-Rutgers Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA

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