Researchers at Tufts School of Engineering and University of Illinois have developed ultrathin electronic devices that can dissolve in water once their task is over, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
The researchers revealed that the device is made up of silicon and magnesium oxide and is protected by a layer of silk and added that the technology is already used in heating a wound so as to prevent infection from bacteria.
While current electronic devices are built to last, the researchers said that their device was built using very thin sheets of silicon which dissolve when it comes in contact with water. The speed of the dissolution is controlled by the silk layer and may take days or weeks.
John Rogers, a mechanical science and engineering professor at the University of Illinois, said that their device has been built using a new concept and provides a number of opportunities, especially in the medical field.
"It's a new concept, so there are lots of opportunities, many of which we probably have not even identified yet. Infection is a leading cause of readmission, a device could be put in to the body at the site of surgery just before it is closed up. But you would only need it for the most critical period around two weeks after surgery", he said.