Biodegradable, minimally invasive implants

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What happens if biomedical device and instruments are absorbed into the body after medical treatment? This eliminates the need for risky secondary surgery, which can potentially cause infection and hemorrhage, reduces patient cost and time, and improves the patient experience. Biodegradable, minimally invasive implants perform a series of research in design and fabrication  of biomedical devices with fully biodegradable and resorbable materials, and in demonstrations in biological systems. The specific areas are understanding the mechanism of bioresorption of electronics, hybridizing soft substrate to inorganic electronics, and applying the developed electronics to demonstration biological systems.
Here we give recent examples of biodegradable, minimally invasive implants. More examples and studies are listed in what follows.

Bioresorbable intracranial pressure sensor for early diagnosis of traumatic brain injury

Early detection of traumatic brain injury caused by local bleeding in the brain is difficult because of its incubation period. In particular, patients often refuse monitoring of brain pressure, which is the almost the only gold standard in traumatic injury diagnosis, because the surgery and treatment are frightening and require a 6-8-day hospital stay with a sensor implanted in the brain and connected to outside instruments through a hole in the skull, where infection may arise. Bioresorbable pressure sensor would offer a simple and minimally invasive implant. After it monitors brain pressure for around a week, the device starts to dissolve away, so it need not be extracted, leading to vastly improved patient experience and reduced costs.

Drug-delivery vehicle in biodegradable form

Biodegradable electronics can be used in drug delivery vehicles that release drugs on a regular schedule or on demand. The following images show the near-field induction-based wireless heater that can release a drug on demand so it can diffuse in the body. All the materials in the system can be dissolved away when no longer needed.


  • S.-K.Kang et al. "Bioresorbable Silicon Electronic Sensors for the Intracranial Space and the Deep Brain", Nature 530, 71-76 (2016).
  • G. Lee et al. "Fully Biodegradable Microsupercapacitors for Power Storage in Transient Electronic Systems",
    Advanced Energy Materials 10.1002/aenm.201700157  (2017)
  • K.J. Yu et al. "Bioresorbable silicon electronics for transient spatiotemporal mapping of electrical activity from the cerebral cortex",
    Nature Materials 15, 782-792 (2016).
  • C.H. Lee et al. "Biological Lipid Membranes for On-Demand, Wireless Drug Delivery from Thin, Bioresorbable Electronic Implants,"
    NPG Asia Materials 7, e227 (2015).
  • C.W. Park et al. "Thermally Triggered Degradation of Transient Electronic Devices", Advacned Materials 27, 3783-3788 (2015).
  • S.-W. Hwang et al. "Biodegradable Elastomers and Silicon Nanomembranes/Nanoribbons for Stretchable,
    Transient Electronics and Biosensors", Nano Letter 15, 2801 (2015).
  • S.-W. Hwang et al. "Materials for programmed, functional transformation in transient electronic systems",
    Advanced Materials 27, 47 (2015).
  • X. Huang et al. "Biodegradable Materials for Multilayer Transient Printed Circuit Boards", Advanced Materials 26, 7376 (2014).