Scimex: US and Chinese researchers have developed tiny flexible electronics that can be injected into living tissue and used to monitor its development. After injecting the electronics into mice, they unfurl to 80 per cent of their original size within an hour, and allowed the scientists to monitor brain activity with little damage to the mice. Flexible electronics, which can be injected into synthetic cavities and living tissue through a needle with a diameter as small as 0.1 mm, are reported online this week in Nature Nanotechnology. The electronics, composed of a mesh of electrodes, unfold to their original shape in less than an hour following injection and have been used to monitor brain activity in live mice.
Flexible and stretchable electronics
could allow for continuous monitoring and manipulation of the properties
of 3D structures, such as biological tissue. Previous research has
shown that these electronics can be surgically implanted; however, their
controlled delivery to specific regions and non-invasive implantation
has not yet been possible.
Now, Charles Lieber, Ying Fang and
colleagues have designed mesh-shaped electronics that can be loaded into
a syringe and injected into specific regions of synthetic cavities or
living tissues. The authors show that once injected, the 'rolled up'
electronics unfold to approximately 80% of their original configuration
with no loss of function. The authors injected the electronics into two
distinct brain regions in live mice and found that they produced no
immune response over a period of five weeks and were able to network
with healthy neurons. Also, when the electronics were injected into the
hippocampus of the mice, the authors found that they could monitor brain
activity with limited damage to the surrounding brain tissues.
an accompanying News & Views, Dae-Hyeong Kim and Youngsik Lee
write, "Further integration of the injectable electronics with other
functional units and/or wireless components is expected to lead to
promising pathways for innovations in implantable bioelectronics and