There are many new technologies in the development pipeline – and coming on-line – that will be incorporated into new medical devices in amazing ways. Unfortunately, advances in battery technology have not kept pace with advances in functional capabilities, miniaturization, and other areas. Often, the element that constrains design the most is the size of the battery required to power the device.
Researchers are taking a number of different approaches – flexible film batteries and graphene supercapacitors, for instance, and harnessing the body’s kinetic energy in various ways to power devices.
The latest development on this front is reported at kurzweilai.net. – a high-performance microbattery that can be built into microchips using a process that combines 3D holographic lithography and 2D photolithography.
Hopefully, we will see a breakthrough soon that will enable one of these experimental power technologies to be scaled to production volumes. Until that happens, medical device design will continue to be constrained largely due to the form factor of the required power supply.