Researchers in China Develop Injectable 3D Medical Electronics
(Nature.com) Researchers at TsingHua University in China developed an alternative way of directly printing three-dimensional medical electronics inside the biological body through sequential injections of biocompatible packaging material and conductive liquid metal ink. According to the researchers, their method is based on a minimally invasive injection process, which therefore will significantly relieve patient discomfort.
The research abstract describes the effort in this way:
“These findings clarified the unique features and practicability of the liquid-metal-based injectable 3D fabrication of medical electronics. Conventional transplantable biomedical devices generally request sophisticated surgery, which often causes trauma and serious pain to the patients. Here, we show an alternative way of directly making three-dimensional (3D) medical electronics inside the biological body through sequential injections of biocompatible packaging material and liquid metal ink. As the most typical electronics, a variety of medical electrodes with different embedded structures were demonstrated to be easily formed at the target tissues. Conceptual in vitro experiments provide strong evidences for the excellent performances of the injectable electrodes. Further in vivo animal experiments disclosed that the formed electrode could serve as both highly efficient ECG (Electrocardiograph) electrode and stimulator electrode. The present strategy opens the way for directly manufacturing electrophysiological sensors or therapeutic devices in situ via a truly minimally invasive approach.”