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Stanford Researchers Develop New Wave of Electronics

The new flexible, biodegradable semiconductor shown on a human hair.

Stanford University engineers say they have developed a flexible, organic, semiconductive polymer that can be used to create biodegradable electronics.

Credit: Bao Lab

Engineers at Stanford University say they have developed a flexible, organic, and biodegradable electronic device.

They describe it as a semiconductive polymer that can decompose, mated to a degradable electronic circuit and a biodegradable substrate.

Leading the project is Stanford professor Zhenan Bao, who previously created a non-degradable flexible electrode modeled on human skin. Bao says applying a weak acid such as vinegar to the new device can trigger decomposition, while using iron for the electronic elements and transparent cellulose for the substrate ensures non-toxicity. "

We envision these soft patches that are very thin and conformable to the skin that can measure blood pressure, glucose value, sweat content," Bao says.

The biocompatibility of the device also makes its insertion within the human body possible, although Bao says additional research is required before implantation can be deemed viable.

From Stanford News
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