Photos show the dissolution of a biodegradable integrated circuit that can be used to apply treatment inside a human body. Researchers from Tufts University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois-Urbana collaborated to create the device, which includes circuit components made of magnesium and silicone semiconductors, all on a thin film of silk. The research was funded by DARPA and the National Science Foundation.
I think the idea is that the electronics are made of organic materials that can be processed quite easily because the body is used to them. Shrapnel, obviously, is quite a foreign object and would be intrusive to the body. The electronics are designed, in my understanding, to not be invasive and as natural as possible.
How does the body process metal out of itself? My brother has some small metallic shrapnel that still bothers him. It refuses to move. I assume dissolvable electronics will not leave deposits throughout the body, but it will be decades before people will believe otherwise.
Good analogy, Cabe! Yes, I do think that indeed is the point. Get it in, make it work, and then get it out before it can do anything adverse. We shall see if they manage to accomplish this in the future, I guess!
That's also a good point, but I think the researchers tried to design the electronics to be safe for humans. Perhaps that will be something they need to consider as they develop these electronics further and begin to test them on human subjects. Thanks for your comment.
As all the circuits are made up of magnesium and silicon and wrapped in magnesium dioxide then such electronic pills definitely going to increase the amount of magnesium and sillicon over the optimum value for a normal person inside the user and that may have biological side effects. So thats may be the problem, i think.
That's a good point. What if the body didn't respond as doctors expect to the treatment and needs more than the treatment is timed for? I am sure as researchers continue their work they will consider different scenarios and try to come up with methods that best suit them.
University of Southampton researchers have come up with a way to 3D print transparent optical fibers like those used in fiber-optic telecommunications cables, potentially boosting frequency and reducing loss.
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