Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Pacemaker - An Unintentional Discovery


Like penicillin, here is another accidental invention that continues to save lives to this day. American engineer Wilson Greatbatch was working on a gadget that recorded irregular heartbeats, when he inserted the wrong type of resistor into his invention. The circuit pulsed, then was quiet, then pulsed again, prompting Greatbatch to compare this reaction with the human heart and work on the world’s first implantable cardiac pacemaker.

Before the implantable version was used on humans from 1960 onwards, pacemakers had been based on the external model invented by Paul Zoll in 1952. These were about the size of a television and dealt out considerable jolts of electricity into the patient’s body, which often caused the skin to burn. Greatbatch also went on to devise a lithium-iodide battery cell to power his pacemaker.

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2 comments:

Cindy Dy | January 14, 2015 at 12:43 PM  

Your post is superb. Thanks for sharing us updated information.

Sorn
www.gofastek.com

Leslie Lim | September 15, 2015 at 8:30 AM  


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Jorcel
www.imarksweb.org

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