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Posted: Jul 12, 2017
Biodegradable temperature sensors for the Internet of Things
(Nanowerk News) Materials that undergo degradation by biological and/or chemical processes are used for food packaging, drug delivery, tissue engineering, microfluidics, medical tools, and implantable devices.
Degradable forms of electronics, i.e., devices that work for a prescribed time and then disappear via hydrolysis or biochemical reactions, could add intelligence and increase the functionalities of these systems.
The team used magnesium as an active layer while a commercially available polymer acted as encapsulation, given its easy processing, biocompatibility, small swelling rate, and Young’s modulus of 500 MPa.
They integrated an array of sensors onto a fluidic device made of the same polymer to yield a smart biodegradable system for flow mapping.
The assembly scheme proposed by the team is scalable as demonstrated by the integration of an array of nine sensors onto an Ecoflex-based fluidic device that provides an example of monolithic, fully biodegradable device for liquid flow mapping.
Proper encapsulation extended stable electrical operation to 1 day while the connection to a Bluetooth module enables wireless functionalities with 200 mK resolution prospecting application in food tracking and in medical postsurgery monitoring.