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Materials (Basel). 2018 Mar 29;11(4). pii: E522. doi: 10.3390/ma11040522.

Advances in Materials for Recent Low-Profile Implantable Bioelectronics.

Author information

1
Department of Industrial Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. yanfeichen@pitt.edu.
2
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. ysk@me.gatech.edu.
3
Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA. tillmanbw@upmc.edu.
4
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. tillmanbw@upmc.edu.
5
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. whyeo@gatech.edu.
6
Center for Flexible Electronics, Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology, Bioengineering Program, Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Neural Engineering Center, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. whyeo@gatech.edu.
7
Department of Industrial Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. yjchun@pitt.edu.
8
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. yjchun@pitt.edu.
9
Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. yjchun@pitt.edu.

Abstract

The rapid development of micro/nanofabrication technologies to engineer a variety of materials has enabled new types of bioelectronics for health monitoring and disease diagnostics. In this review, we summarize widely used electronic materials in recent low-profile implantable systems, including traditional metals and semiconductors, soft polymers, biodegradable metals, and organic materials. Silicon-based compounds have represented the traditional materials in medical devices, due to the fully established fabrication processes. Examples include miniaturized sensors for monitoring intraocular pressure and blood pressure, which are designed in an ultra-thin diaphragm to react with the applied pressure. These sensors are integrated into rigid circuits and multiple modules; this brings challenges regarding the fundamental material's property mismatch with the targeted human tissues, which are intrinsically soft. Therefore, many polymeric materials have been investigated for hybrid integration with well-characterized functional materials such as silicon membranes and metal interconnects, which enable soft implantable bioelectronics. The most recent trend in implantable systems uses transient materials that naturally dissolve in body fluid after a programmed lifetime. Such biodegradable metallic materials are advantageous in the design of electronics due to their proven electrical properties. Collectively, this review delivers the development history of materials in implantable devices, while introducing new bioelectronics based on bioresorbable materials with multiple functionalities.

KEYWORDS:

biodegradable materials; implantable materials; low-profile bioelectronics; medical devices; micro/nanofabrication; miniaturization

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