The heavy bass that is typically heard in rap music can be used to generate the power of a new tiny medical device, designed to be implanted in the body.
Researchers learned that the acoustic waves from music were able to successfully recharge the pressure sensor within the body, and Rap music was found to be ideal for keeping the device working. This device could potentially assist people in treating incontinence due to paralysis, and those who suffer from aneurisms.
What allows the sensor to work is a vibrating cantilever, which is a thin beam attached by one end, similar to what a tiny diving board would resemble. Music within specific range frequencies, from 200 to 500 hertz, makes the cantilever vibrate, producing electricity and storing a charge in a capacitor, according the researchers.
Babak Ziaie, Professor at Purdue University, and one of the study’s authors said in a statement, “The music reaches the correct frequency only at certain times, for example, when there is a strong bass component. The acoustic energy from the music can pass through body tissue, causing the cantilever to vibrate.
When the frequency falls outside of the correct range of the device, the cantilever will stop vibrating and automatically send electrical charges to the sensor, which will then record a pressure reading, and pass along data as radio signals.
Since the frequency in music changes throughout a song, the sensor device will be able to store data when it isn’t vibrating, and read data once its re-activated by the music’s frequencies.
“You would only need to do this for a couple of minutes every hour or so to monitor either blood pressure or pressure of urine in the bladder,” said Ziaie. “It doesn’t take long to do the measurement.”
The results of this research will be published in a paper, written and presented by Ziaie, doctoral student Albert Kim, and research scientist Teimour Maleki.
Although tones by themselves are enough to generate the device, using music is a lot more pleasurable, explained Ziaie.
“But a plain tone is a very annoying sound. We thought it would be novel and also more aesthetically pleasing to use music. Rap is the best because it contains a lot of low frequency sound, notably the bass.”
The sensory monitor could mainly be used for those who need crucial blood pressure readings, or those that need to gauge the pressure of urine in their bladder.
“A wireless implantable device could be inserted and left in place, allowing the patient to go home while the pressure is monitored,” said Ziaie.