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Electronics & Test
Electronics Work Inside the Body, Then Disappear
12/11/2012

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.
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.

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Cabe Atwell
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Cabe Atwell   2/25/2013 2:56:25 PM
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I would hope so.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Elizabeth M   2/25/2013 3:44:01 AM
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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.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Cabe Atwell   2/22/2013 4:13:54 PM
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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.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Elizabeth M   2/6/2013 5:50:12 AM
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Haha, Cabe, well I hope in the case of these electronics the patients are willing participants in the device insertion! But it does open up a whole world of possibilities, doesn't it? :)

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Cabe Atwell   2/1/2013 4:43:56 PM
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Oh boy.. here comes the tin-foil hats. Install the device, and it stays resident. The person will never know...

 

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Elizabeth M   1/30/2013 4:28:42 AM
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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!

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Cabe Atwell   1/29/2013 5:57:17 PM
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Great approach, as long as the material passed out of the body in a timely manner. Like an install, run, delete maintenance program.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: Excess of magnesium and silicon
Elizabeth M   1/7/2013 6:26:38 AM
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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.

Harimohan
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Excess of magnesium and silicon
Harimohan   1/5/2013 11:54:36 AM
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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.

Elizabeth M
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Re: dissolving trigger?
Elizabeth M   1/4/2013 1:59:17 PM
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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.

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