Leaps forward in silicon circuit manufacturing may lead to a new era of bio-electronics.
Implants in the future may be low-cost, and capable of functioning while in direct contact with living tissue inside the body.
Most existing silicon-based electronics experience interference when implanted inside the body, due to interactions between electrolytes and the electrical signals within the circuits.
Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium control nerves and muscles and maintain hydration. They carry positive or negative electric charges. These charged states lead to silicon absorbing them, causing interference with the circuit’s electronic behaviour.
Looking to improve the bio-compatibility of existing and affordable silicon electronics, researchers at the Ohio State University developed an aluminium oxide coating which blocks the electrolytes from entering the silicon.
To read more on how the aluminimum oxide coated silicon circuits operated, click here.