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Brain Electronics

May 10, 2010

Electronics mounted on silk melt into the brain.


Silky soft sensors…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Making ultrathin, flexible electronics that can be implanted into the brain is no easy task. But now, a team of researchers has found a way by using an old material: silk. John Rogers is a materials scientist at the University of Illinois. He and his colleagues placed a thin mesh of electrodes onto a layer of silk and implanted them into an animal’s brain. They then wash away the silk with a warm saltwater solution.

JOHN ROGERS (University of Illinois):
And as it washes away, it frees this ultrathin electrode mesh such that it can drop down onto the deep folds and crevices of the brain and actually get sucked down onto that surface.

Rogers says such electronics could be used to diagnose brain disorders, or monitor the brain activity of people with epilepsy to warn them before seizures occur. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.