So far, Medtronic has developed most of the components—a circuit board, an oscillator to generate current, a capacitor to store and rapidly dispense charge, memory to store data, and a telemetry system to wirelessly transfer that data. The company has used chip manufacturing technology to assemble these components onto a wafer. Oesterle estimates that 60 to 70 pacemakers can be made from a single six-inch wafer, which the company creates at its own wafer fabrication plant in Arizona.Oh, and don't forget the need for a fixation mechanism. Otherwise, these things might embolize and serve as the next Viagra.
"What we don't have that is fundamental to a pacemaker is a way to power the chip," says Oesterle. The company is working with startups that make thin-film batteries and other innovative power sources, though Oesterle declined to give further details.
On second thought...