Implantable Devices

Rap music as medicine

The sound of rap music already entertains millions. In the future, it could save the lives of thousands.

Babak Ziaie, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering and a member of the Birck Nanotechnology Center, is harnessing rap’s driving bass rhythms to power a new type of miniature medical sensor, with potential applications ranging from monitoring incontinence to treating aneurysms.

Ziaie’s sensor, a microelectromechanical system (MEMS), employs acoustic waves from music to drive a vibrating device called a cantilever, generating a charge to power the tiny sensor.

Music within a certain range of frequencies, from 200 to 500 hertz, causes the cantilever to vibrate, generating electricity and storing a charge in a capacitor. A plain tone can also be used, but Ziaie says that he thinks music — rap, classical, jazz, whatever fits the frequency — is more pleasant.

- Linda Terhune

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2017 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Discovery Park

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact Discovery Park at