A group of engineers and scientists in the United States have found a way to insert ultra-thin electronics inside a human body and gave it the ability to dissolve or “melt-away” once it has achieved its goal, according to a report by BBC’s James Gallagher.
The researchers have placed the components, which are composed of magnesium oxide and silicon, inside a protective layer of silk. For it to be soluble in just days or weeks, they’ve used a very thin sheets of silicon called nanomembrane. The silk controls the speed of the melting process.
The research, which is part of a field called “transient electronics”, have already tested a 64-pixel digital camera, solar cells, and temperature sensors.
“It’s a new concept, so there are lots of opportunities, many of which we probably have not even identified yet,” said John Rogers, a University of Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor.
For now, the group of researchers are developing these devices for the medical industry. However, the technology can also be utilized to create more environmentally friendly devices, such as cameras and other electronic gadgets, in the future.
Once these devices become mainstream, even just for the soluble digital camera, it will give a whole new meaning to the word “disposable cameras”, and the proliferation of the term “biodegradable cameras”.