In a brain, dissolvable electronics monitor health

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From the folds and crinkles of a living brain, a fleeting fleck of electronics smaller than a grain of rice can wirelessly relay critical health information and then gently fade away.

The transient sensors, which can measure pressure, temperature, pH, motion, flow, and potentially specific biomolecules, stand to permanently improve patient care, researchers said. With a wireless, dissolving sensor, doctors could ditch the old versions that require tethering patients to medical equipment and performing invasive surgery to remove, which adds risks of infections and complications to already vulnerable patients.

Though the first version, reported in Nature, was designed for the brain and tested in the noggins of living rats, the authors think the sensors could be used in many tissues and organs for a variety of patients—from car crash victims with brain injuries to people with diabetes. “Sensors are incredibly important,” chief resident of neurosurgery and study co-author Rory Murphy of Washington University School of Medicine told Ars. But they’ve been a hassle, too.



FiveWordsForTheFuture - May 15, 2016 | Bionics, Body, Health, Interfaces, Medicine, Skin, Wearables
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