Researchers unveil ultra-thin electronics that dissolve in body

The same researchers who last year developed “electronic tattoos” that bend and stretch on skin are now unveiling similar ultra-thin electronics, only these dissolve when their job is done.

This tiny electronic device dissolves in water.

(Credit: Fiorenzo Omenetto/Science )

Made of silicon, magnesium, and magnesium oxide and surrounded by a protective layer of silk, these “transient” electronics aren’t built to last but rather to melt away and, in the process, reduce the need to pass or surgically remove tiny medical implants, researchers from Tufts and the University of Illinois write in the current issue of Science.

The researchers — who have begun using their devices on rats to heat wounds, thereby protecting them from bacterial infection — report that they had to use extremely thin sheets of silicon called nanomembranes to get the electronics to dissolve in hours or days instead of years.

As for concerns of toxicity, they say the materials are non-toxic and that in one device they used less of the mineral magnesium than is found in … [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET