US researchers have developed electronic devices capable of dissolving in water or bodily fluids, according to a press release from University of Illinois. The project is a collaboration between University of Illinois, Tufts University and Northwestern University.
Because the technology uses silicon, an industry standard for integrated circuits, it can be used to make complicated devices using well-established designs, according to the press release. The researchers encapsulate the devices in silk. Depending on the structure of the material, the devices can be designed to dissolve in minutes, days, weeks or potentially years.
In the September 28 issue of the journal Science, the researchers demonstrated several devices made with the technology, including a 64-pixel digital camera and an implantable applique developed to monitor and prevent bacterial infections at surgical incisions. The technology could also be used for other applications such as consumer electronics and compostable electronic components.Camilla Andersson