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Nuclear-powered pacemaker, 1970s

Nuclear-powered pacemaker, 1970s

C029/6761

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Credit

US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Nuclear-powered pacemaker. Display model of a nuclear-powered heart pacemaker developed by the US Atomic Energy Commission in the 1970s. A pacemaker supplies electrical impulses along wires connected to the heart. These electrical impulses help to keep the heart beating regularly when a patient has an irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia). The first modern pacemakers were developed in the 1950s and 1960s. They initially used short-lived mercury batteries. In the late 1960s, atomic batteries using radioisotopes were developed, but this was soon superseded by the development of lithium batteries in the early 1970s. Photographed circa 1973.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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