Can gadgets dissolve in water?
A new generation of electronic devices that dissolve completely in water, leaving behind only harmless end products may soon become a reality.
Washington:A new generation of electronic devices that dissolve completely in water, leaving behind only harmless end products may soon become a reality.
Pioneering research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may bring in devices that range from green consumer electronics to biomedical sensor systems that do their work and then disappear.
John A Rogers' research group at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory is leading the development of such concepts, along with all of the required materials, device designs and fabrication techniques for applications that lie beyond the scope of semiconductor technologies that are available today.
"Our most recent combined developments in devices that address real challenges in clinical medicine and in advanced, high volume manufacturing strategies suggest a promising future for this new class of technology," said Rogers.
Practical applications might include: bioresorbable devices that reduce infection at a surgical site. Other examples are temporary implantable systems, such as electrical brain monitors to aid rehabilitation from traumatic injuries or electrical simulators to accelerate bone growth.
Additional classes of devices can even be used for programmed drug delivery, Rogers said.
The devices would provide robust, reliable, high performance operation, but only for a finite period of time dictated, for example, by the healing process - they would not only be biologically compatible, but also biologically punctual, performing when and as the body needs them.
After their function has been fulfilled, they would disappear through resorption into the body, thereby eliminating unnecessary device load, without the need for additional surgical operations.
The research will be presented at the AVS International Symposium & Exhibition next month in Baltimore.