Silk-Based Electronics Dissolve on Cue for Vanishing Medical Implants

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"A flexible device that is just nanometers thick can fight post-surgical infections or even capture images—until its work is done, when it vanishes."

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Scientific American, Katherine Harmon

Imagine an electronic medical implant that, like dissolvable stitches, could disintegrate after it is no longer needed. An innovative combination of silk and silicon have now been used to create just such ephemeral but effective devices, including diodes, transistors, miniheaters and stress sensors.

A flexible device that is just nanometers thick can fight post-surgical infections or even capture images—until its work is done, when it vanishes right on cue. "These electronics are there when you need them, and after they've served their purpose, they disappear," Yonggang Huang, an engineer at Northwestern University, said in a prepared statement. These so-called transient electronics have already been demonstrated to work—and disappear—in rats. These new electronics can be powered wirelessly via induction coils. . .View Full Article

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