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The Betavoltaic Pacemaker Power Source

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Summary

Developments in nuclear and chemical batteries have been applied during the past few years to increase the reliability and lifetime of the cardiac pacemaker. Although clinical use of the radioisotope-powered pacemaker dates only from 1970, statistics available to date confirm the expected superior reliability. More time is needed to confirm the relatively long lifetimes projected.

Two types of radioisotope batteries are in use: plutonium thermoelectric and promethium betavoltaic, each type having its individual merits. As compared with thermoelectric batteries, betavoltaic batteries have the advantage of smaller size and lower price and the disadvantage of being currently limited to a ten-year life. However, projected improvements in betavoltaic technology give good promise of extending this lifetime to 15 years if needed. The beta-voltaic battery Betacel ® has been qualified to NEA/AEC stress, corrosion and cremation fire standards and is licensed for clinical use by AEC and State authorities. Radiation safety requirements are well satisfied by the promethium-powered pacemaker. Risk-benefit factors to the patient and public are favorable to the use of this pacemaker in medical costs saved and deaths avoided.

Over 120 Betacel-powered pacemakers have been implanted in the U.S. and abroad. The clinical implantation program of the Biotronik-Betacel pacemaker is currently being expanded in the U.S. to a 50 per month rate.

Keywords

  • Power Source
  • Cardiac Pacemaker
  • Junction Device
  • Beta Source
  • Chemical Batterie

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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© 1975 Springer-Verlag Berlin-Heidelberg

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Matheson, W.E. (1975). The Betavoltaic Pacemaker Power Source. In: Schaldach, M., Furman, S. (eds) Engineering in Medicine. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-66187-7_25

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-66187-7_25

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-66189-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-66187-7

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