Russian pacemakers will operate on batteries based on radioactive nickel

Today, without any exaggeration, the lives of thousands of patients with cardiac arrhythmias depend on the uninterrupted operation of a pacemaker. However, these devices have a very serious drawback - the tritium batteries have a limited lifespan of seven years, after which a new heart operation is required to replace the power supply.

Long-life batteries are being developed in several countries. Russia was no exception. Scientists from the Russian University of Chemical Technology and the Advanced Nuclear Technologies company are taking part in the joint project. The basis of the new battery will be the Ni 63 radionuclide with a half-life of 100 years, which is more than 8 times longer than that of tritium.

The developers have already calculated that if successful, a power source with a service life of up to 20 years will be created, which will greatly facilitate the life of patients using various biotechnical systems.

According to the project manager, Professor Eldar Magomedbekov, the battery will consist of a semiconductor rectangular silicon substrate, on which a certain relief is etched in the form of a groove, where Ni 63 is then deposited, p-n junctions are deposited and contact electrodes are applied. The battery will be placed in a protective case that is absolutely safe for the body.