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Rap Music Powers New Medical Devices

Medical Devices Powered by MusicResearchers at Purdue University have developed a new type of implantable pressure sensor, which is powered by acoustic vibrations such as those that come from music,and particularly rap music, due to it’s heavy driving bass beats.

In hopes of treating people affected by aneurisms, incontinence due to paralysis, researchers at the Purdue University have developed a new medical sensor in the form of a vibrating cantilever which is activated by frequencies in the range of 200-500 hertz. Frequencies in this range cause the cantilever to vibrate, creating energy which is then stored in a capacitor for later use.

“The music reaches the correct frequency only at certain times, for example, when there is a strong bass component,” Babak Ziaie, a Purdue University professor of electrical & computer bioengineering and biomedical engineering, explains “The acoustic energy from the music can pass through body tissue, causing the cantilever to vibrate.”

After initial research, it was found that music, and particularly rap music, was the preferred genre to powering the new medical device. “Rap is the best because it contains a lot of low frequency sound, notably the bass,” said Ziaie.

And while one could just use a simple tone in the 200-500 hertz frequency range, it would just be annoying [the sound], Ziaie explained. “We thought it would be novel and also more aesthetically pleasing to use music.”

Compared to conventional implantable devices, the new “rap music”-powered medical device offers some significant benefits. Current implants are powered by batteries which have to be taken out and replaced, or by inductance which requires very precise alignment (within a centimeter) of the internal and external devices to communicate.

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