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Adaptable medical transplants with flexible electronics

Editorial
article image RESEARCHERS have created mechanically flexible organic transistors that can soften on demand, with implications for medical implants.

RESEARCHERS have created mechanically flexible organic transistors that can soften on demand, with implications for medical implants.

The researchers from the University of Texas and the University of Tokyo used shape-changing memory polymers to create the flexible transistors. These polymers are rigid at room temperature but become softer when warmed up to body temperature.

This could allow surgeons to implant an electronic device while it is still rigid, then have the device bend and conform to the tissues and structures that surround it.

They integrated wiring into the device in the form of a flexible foil that is able to bend along with the polymer.

The technology has been successfully tested in the laboratory, with the device wrapping around a 2.25mm wide rod, and retaining its electrical properties after being implanted into rats.

The research originally appeared in Advanced Materials, in a piece titled "Mechanically Adaptive Organic Transistors for Implantable Electronics".

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