Scientists develop water soluble electronic devices

A biodegradable integrated circuit during dissolution in water (Photo: Beckman Institute, ...Scientists from University of Illinois have developed such electronic devices which are water soluble. In their experiment they devised an implantable electronic thermal therapy device which lasts inside a rat’s body for a few weeks before it gets dissolved. To design such a electro thermal device scientist used Magnesium or Mg as the electrical conductor, MgO and Silicon dioxide as dielectrics, specially fabricated nanomembrane silicon semiconductor etc. The entire device dissolves away when placed in de-ionized water. Researchers used a sheet of silk to pack this device to keep it intact for a set period of time, after which it dissolves in the body water, exposing the electronic device which too dissolves away.

What could be the possible implementation of this technology?

  • At a point when the world is pondering over the problem of efficient e-waste disposal, this technology could come handy. Using this technology such devices could be made which would be easily soluble in water. Thus it would aid in their easier and efficient disposal.
  • Electronic devices such as pacemakers and other sensors are also widely used. After the device does its intended job it has to be surgically removed. However, if this technology develops further, such devices could be made which after performing their role would dissolve and come out through excretion.


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