Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Melt in the Body" Electronics Devised

News Brief by Alice Chan

A new breakthrough in medical technology has been made in the field of “transient electronics.” U.S. scientists have conducted successful trails of testing on ultra thin electronics, which can be used to heat wounds to ward off infection by bacteria after surgery. These electronics, which are made of silicon and magnesium oxide, are capable of “melting” in a matter of days or weeks due to the properties of thin sheets of silicon, called a nanomembrane. As Tufts School of Engineering’s own Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto explains: "Transient electronics offer robust performance comparable to current devices but they will fully resorb into their environment at a prescribed time, ranging from minutes to years." Other scientists have also made suggestions about possible uses of these silicon-based electronics. Possible ideas include using this technology to regulate the release of drugs inside the body and to build environmentally-friendly computers or mobile phones. According to Professor Omenetto, “Imagine the environmental benefits if cell phones, for example, could just dissolve instead of languishing in landfills for years.”

Reference: Gallagher, James. ""Melt in the Body" Electronics Devised."BBC World News. BBC, 27 Sep 2012. Web. 3 Oct 2012. .
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