’Melt in the body’ electronics devised
2012 09 27

By James Gallagher | BBCNews



Ultra-thin electronics that dissolve inside the body have been devised by scientists in the US and could be used for a range of medical roles.

The devices can "melt away" once their job is done, according to research published in the journal Science.

The technology has already been used to heat a wound to keep it free from infection by bacteria.

The components are made of silicon and magnesium oxide, and placed in a protective layer of silk.


The device dissolves when it comes into contact with water


It is part of a field termed "transient electronics" and comes from researchers who have already developed "electronic tattoos" - sensors that bend and stretch with the skin.

They described their vanishing devices as the "polar opposite" of traditional electronics, which are built to be stable and to last.

Getting the electronics to fade away in a controlled manner relies on two scientific developments - getting the electronics to dissolve at all and using a shell to control when that happens.

Silicon dissolves in water anyway. The problem is that the size of components in conventional electronics means it would take an eternity. The researchers used incredibly thin sheets of silicon, called a nanomembrane, which can dissolve in days or weeks.

The speed of melting is controlled by silk. The material is collected from silkworms, dissolved and then allowed to reform. Altering the way the dissolved silk crystallises changes its final properties - and how long the device will last.

[...]

John Rogers, a mechanical science and engineering professor at the University of Illinois, said: "It’s a new concept, so there are lots of opportunities, many of which we probably have not even identified yet."

He told the BBC one likely use would be in wounds after surgery.

"Infection is a leading cause of readmission, a device could be put in to the body at the site of surgery just before it is closed up," he said.

"But you would only need it for the most critical period around two weeks after surgery."

The team of researchers have tested on rats a device that heats a wound to kill off bugs.

Read the full article at: bbc.co.uk













Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us. At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account. Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy. The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade. Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday. The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria. A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
More News »