Tufts School of Engineering have developed a new electronic technology, transient electronics is its official name, and it just melts away within the body after doing its job.
Testing in the lab has already taken place in areas such as wound healing, temperature sensors, solar cells and a 64 pixel digital camera, though what most of those applications could be used for inside the human body is anyones guess.
Unlike ordinary electronics, which are built to last, transient electronics are not. These small devices are designed to fade away, to dissolve at a pre-set rate leaving no trace in the body.
Silicon, a major component of the devices melts in water anyway, if thin enough, like the nanomembranes used in transient electronics there would be no trace of them within a couple of weeks. To control the speed of the melt scientists use silk which is dissolved and then reformed and it is this alteration of the silk that coats the silicon that enables the melt time to be controlled.
Profess Fiorenzo Omenetto
who is quoted as saying:
” Transient electronics offer a robust performance comparable to current devices but they will fully resorb into their environment at a prescribed time ranging from minutes to years”
One likely use is to control wound infection and the devices have been tested on rats, being placed in the wound immediately prior to closure. The wounds heated to a temperature that inhibits the growth of bugs leading to less infection.
John Rogers a mechanical science and engineering professor at the University of Illinois, the man credited with the invention of ‘smart fingers’ for use by surgeons said other uses were bound to be found for transient electronics such as computer components and mobile phones.
“Imagine the environmental benefits if cell phones for example could just dissolve instead of languishing in landfills for years” He was quoted as saying recently.
We thought RFID chips were bad and now they invent something that can vanish without trace…great. The chance that this technology will be used purely for the good of mankind is zero. There is no reason why with a little tweaking these devices could not be injected into people, they are so small and light they could be swallowed without being noticed. The possibility for misuse of this technology is huge. They want total control and this could give it to them. How small can they make them? small enough to inject into a baby at birth and track them for life? The parents would never even know and being so small, light and transparent the chances of finding it would be next to impossible.
It would be so very simple to add this technology to computers and cell phones that the users would never know their every keystroke and call would be monitored, after all, a slight alteration to its silk jacket could be made so it never self destructs….the possibilities are endless, frighteningly endless.