Implantable, Flexible Transistors that Wrap Around Tissues Could Reshape Medicine

Researchers from The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Tokyo have created electronic devices that become soft when implanted inside the body and can deploy to grip 3D objects, such as large tissues, nerves, and blood vessels. These biologically adaptive, flexible transistors could help doctors learn more about what is happening inside the body, and stimulate the body for treatments. Shape memory polymers developed by Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering, respond to the body's environment and become less rigid when they're implanted. In addition to the polymers, the electronic devices are built with layers that include thin, flexible electronic foils. The researchers used a new technique to essentially laminate and cure the shape memory polymers on top of the transistors. In this video, watch as the planar organic thin-film transistor responds to a temperature change and flex its gripping ability.