12/5/2012 9:08:15 AM
They’re called “biocompatible electronics” – tiny medical implants designed to dissolve into the body’s tissues after they have done their work. Such devices may some day be used for fighting post-surgical infections, speeding bone development and a host of other medical applications. Unlike conventional medical implants such as heart valves or hip replacements that are designed to last a lifetime, “transient electronics” are made with tiny, ultra-thin silicon chips, containing magnesium electrodes, that completely melt away when they have served their function. They’re now being developed by a team of researchers at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University in Illinois and Tufts University in Massachusetts.
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