PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Biomedical and Health Engineering

Implantable Electronics Patterned On Biodegradable Flexible Substrates

Principal Investigators: Lee Weiss, Phil Campbell, Rongchao Jin, Jeyanandh Paramesh

Existing implantable electronic devices for medical applications are permanent, unless surgically removed. The capability to make devices which are partially or fully biodegradable would enable a new range of applications for implantable devices, as well as minimize the impact of implants on the body. Towards this capability, we propose to investigate methods to pattern gold on biodegradable flexible substrates in order to make passive electronic components such a electrodes and RF circuits which could be used in devices for electrical and biomechanical sensing, tissue growth stimulation, smart drug delivery, and many others. We will evaluate several alternative patterning processes which could eventually be scaled-up for cost-effective manufacturing, including direct write deposition of gold nanoparticles and selective laser ablation of gold films. Gold will be patterned on two types of flexible biodegradable substrates, each representing a different mechanism if biodegradation; proteolysis and hydrolysis.