Recently, major progress in bioabsorbable electronics was made by the team of Prof. Fan Yubo from the School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering and Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Biomedical Engineering and the team of Academician Wang Zhonglin from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It was reported in a research article published in Advanced Science.
The first authors of the research are Doctoral Students Li Hu from the School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering and Zhao Chaochao from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems of CAS. The corresponding authors are Prof. Fan, Academician Wang and Prof. Li Zhou, who is also from the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems of CAS.
Fig. 1 Implantable medical electronics
As a recent research focus, bioabsorbable electronics can be fully or partly dissolved in body fluid or certain types of liquid environment. Applied in vivo diagnosis and therapy, they can help avoid the side effects caused by long-term implantation and second operations, which are typical of traditional implantable medical electronics. Used in portable consumer devices, they are free from concerns of the cost of recycling and health risks. For bioabsorbable electronics, degradable power supply devices are necessary, yet researchers have paid limited attention to them. In comparison with wireless sensors and commercial batteries, such devices should be miniaturized, biocompatible and bioabsorbable in order to achieve long-term implantation by minimally invasive surgery and eliminate the need to take them out.
Fig. 2 Structure, morphology, and preparation of the fully bioabsorbable capacitor (BC)
According to these requirements, Li Hu, Zhao Chaochao and other researchers developed a miniaturized, implantable and fully bioabsorbable capacitor, which can function normally in air and liquid environment. It can effectively store the energy produced by triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG). Also, it is the first degradable energy storage device that can work stably for a long time in liquid environment. Furthermore, the researchers have proved the good biocompatibility of the BC through experiments in cell experiment and implantation experiment: it can be gradually degraded and resorbed by Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats after reaching the end of its working life, and no surgery is needed to remove it. As a fully bioabsorbable capacitor, it leads the world in this field with regard to its performance (biocompatibility, full bioabsorbability, work time, operation voltage and capacitance retention in vivo), showing great potential as a fully bioabsorbable power source for degradable and implantable medical electronics.
Fig. 3 Bioabsorbability evaluation and capacitive performance of the BC in vivo
The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Beijing Natural Science Foundation, Beijing Council of Science and Technology and the National Youth Talent Support Program.
The research article:
Reported by Guo Meng
Edited by Di Bailu
Translated by Li Mingzhu