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Issue 31, 2013
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Self-deployable current sources fabricated from edible materials

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Flexible biodegradable electronics have the potential to serve as the centerpiece for temporary electronically active medical implants. Biodegradable electronics may exhibit many advantages over traditional chronic implants. Two important long-term goals for biodegradable electronics are (1) supplying sufficient power and (2) reducing the invasiveness of device deployment. Edible electronic devices are capable of addressing both challenges. Here, we introduce electrochemical electronic power sources that are compatible with non-invasive deployment strategies and are composed entirely of edible materials and naturally occurring precursors that are consumed in common diets. The current sources developed herein are powered by onboard sodium ion electrochemical cells. Potentials up to 0.6 V and currents in the range of 5–20 μA can be generated routinely. These devices could serve as an enabling platform technology for edible electronics used in non-invasive sensing and stimulation of tissues within the human body.

Graphical abstract: Self-deployable current sources fabricated from edible materials

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Supplementary files

Article information

07 Feb 2013
07 Mar 2013
First published
07 Mar 2013

J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013,1, 3781-3788
Article type

Self-deployable current sources fabricated from edible materials

Y. J. Kim, S. Chun, J. Whitacre and C. J. Bettinger, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2013, 1, 3781
DOI: 10.1039/C3TB20183J

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