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Developing Edible Electronics for the Medical Device Industry

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, are developing edible electronic devices that can be implanted in the body, and say that the device could be programmed and deployed in the gastrointestinal tract or the small intestine and once the battery packaging is in place, they can activate the battery.


"We are creating electronically active medical devices that can be implanted in the body," said Christopher Bettinger, an assistant professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, who led the research. “Our design involves flexible polymer electrodes and a sodium ion electrochemical cell, which allows us to fold the mechanism into an edible pill that encapsulates the device," he said.

He also states that the battery could power biosensors to measure biomarkers or monitor gastric problems. In addition, the battery could be used to stimulate damaged tissue or help in targeted drug delivery for certain types of cancer.

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