Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Sylvia Thomas, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Arash Takshi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jing Wang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Delcie Durham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lennox Hoyte, M.D.


energy harvesting, implantation, power efficiency, notched turbine, MPPT, DC-DC converter


The purpose of this research is to design and integrate a symbiotic notched-turbine energy generator for implantation as a cross-coupled system capable of continuously and perpetually powering an electronic implantable medical device (IMD), which is a device designed to operate inside the body of a higher mammal to enhance, correct or provide the body with a function that has deviated from the norm or has stopped altogether. The list of IMDs available for implantation keeps growing every year, one of the newest being the VBLOC, produced by EnteroMedics®, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 15th, 2015[1], [2] to treat obesity in the United States, in lieu of the more dangerous and costly bariatric surgery widely used to treat the same condition. Some of the more traditional IMDs, such as the cardiac defibrillator, pacemaker, and insulin pumps require the use of a battery system for their operation.

The powering of IMDs is a topic of growing importance and as such, the energy released by the hydrodynamic action of the cardiovascular system of a higher mammal is presented in this work as a source of energy that can be converted into electricity by use of a microturbine, loaded with magnetic rings that induce a time-varying magnetic field onto a set of insulated coils through the process of electromagnetic induction (EMI) in accordance with Faraday’s Law.

This work goes beyond mere power production and focuses on the process required to integrate this power source with an IMD when it is coupled to the cardiovascular system for drawing hydro-mechanical power for conversion to electricity and to the IMD of choice to


deliver the conditioned power, thus replicating a symbiotic process. The harvested energy in the form of a time-varying tri-phase sine wave is therefore rectified, conditioned and made available for use to the IMD.

The proposed 3-phase generator has a volume of 1.02 cm3 and has the potential to be implemented as a dual or quad system that doubles or quadruples the single generator power capabilities accordingly. The rectifying and conditioning circuits may be housed in a hermetically sealed container, covered with a biocompatible material such as, ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) or titanium, which can afford the best implantation properties such as non-absorbability, durability, hardness, and biocompatibility [4]. Additionally, the prevention of blood clotting is of paramount importance in any IMD, which can be helped, for example by treating its surface with Tethered-Liquid Perfluorocarbons (TLP) to prevent biofilm formation of the blood that typically leads to infections and clotting[5].