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Biotech Medicine Hardware

Researchers Build Water Soluble Chips 52

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-dishwasher-safe dept.
angry tapir writes "Researchers in the U.S. have developed integrated circuits that can stick to the skin like a child's tattoo and in some cases dissolve in water when they're no longer needed. The 'bio chips' can be worn comfortably on the body to help diagnose and treat illnesses. The circuits are so thin that when they're peeled away from the body they hang like a sliver of dead skin, with a tangle of fine wires visible under a microscope. Similar circuits could one day be wrapped around the heart like 'an electronic pericardium' to correct irregularities such as arrhythmia."
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Researchers Build Water Soluble Chips

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  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @06:29AM (#42248970) Homepage

    To show the technology, Rogers rolled up his sleeve during his talk and, using a microscope and an overhead projector, revealed a circuit stuck on his arm. It looked like a clear tattoo, with a spaghetti-like mass of wires embedded in the surface.

    Right, nice, but is it a circuit that actually does something?

  • by Herve5 (879674) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @08:25AM (#42249450)

    "Similar circuits could one day be wrapped around the heart like 'an electronic pericardium' to correct irregularities such as arrhythmia."

    Ok, once in place, I agree this is less intrusive than nowaday's pacemakers. And potentially more precise than their single electrode pair.

    But if in order to get there you have to actually reach the heart to wrap them around, this, is catastrophically intrusive. This alone would be a no-go compared to the current pacemaker installation (through veins, basically a benign operation)

    Like in many articles today, the idea and design are great, but authors feel compelled to add in the end a dreamy and ridiculous future application that basically spoils the paper.
    I still think the affair is good. But now I also think the author is not really serious.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday December 11, 2012 @10:16AM (#42250086)

    I'm not a cardiologist, but I do wonder if there might be any significent number of hearts too badly damaged for a conventional pacemaker, but for which this implant-wrap could do the job. Intrusive it may be, but if the alternative is a heart transplant, the wrap wins.

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