University of Illinois researcher John Rogers has collaborated with a team at Tufts University to develop silicon-on-silk electronics, which could one day function as medical devices. The researchers say the use of silk enables the thin silicon circuit to conform to tissue and dissolve harmlessly, and its small size also helps prevent any adverse biological reactions. Silicon-on-silk electronics also are more biocompatible than rigid silicon electronics or packaging materials.
The researchers describe silicon-on-silk electronics as an "electronic tattoo" that can be safely integrated into the body for use as monitors, such as for blood sugar levels, or even as electrodes for brain-machine interfaces, such as prostheses.
"This approach has the advantage that it does not require the development of an entire set of biogradable electronic materials, but still yields an overall system that dissipates bulk material features at a rate suitable for the application," the researchers write.
From University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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