It's beginning to feel like each and every time DARPA comes up with something new, I am left completely gobsmacked.
DARPA announced this week that it succeeded in making bio-compatible and eco-friendly electronic systems and components that can dissolve into nothing with the help of ultrathin sheets of silicon and magnesium encapsulated in silk. More impressively, perhaps, is the fact it's not a 'one-size-fits-all' solution. Depending on the thickness and crystallinity of the silk, these electronic components can take anywhere from minutes to days to dissolve.
A paper in the September 28, 2012 issue of Science revealed how DARPA researchers used this technology to "create an implantable device that acts as a non-antibiotic, programmable bactericide that can dissolve harmlessly into the body to prevent surgical site infection."
DARPA program manager Alicia Jackson explains:
"Applying thin film appliqués to implant devices for localized surface heating and sterilization may help counter these infections, even when antibiotic resistant bacteria are present. Having means of eradicating infections could enhance the efficacy of many implant devices and ultimately reduce patient morbidity and mortality."
It's an impressive advancement that may well help improve things like artificial joints and pacemakers, implanted devices that traditionally can cause issues like localized infection. We're just speculating, but we can't help but wonder what this means for the cyborg future...
This story, "DARPA researchers come up with electronics that can melt completely" was originally published by TechHive.