A silicon circuit, coated with a protective layer and immersed in fluid that mimicks human body chemistry. Photo courtesy of Ohio State University. Bio
Biosensors and implantable medical devices of the future will have to live in a climate that’s hostile to traditional silicon-based electronic circuits. Although silicon is biocompatible, our salty bodies are too conductive and interfere with bare silicon circuits. Plus, as with any other implants, there are concerns of material’s immunogenicity and toxicity.
Researchers at Ohio State University have demonstrated a new coating made of aluminum oxide that can encapsulate silicon circuits to keep them dry from the electrolytes in bodily fluids. The coating is currently patent pending and researchers believe that it will soon find application in medicine, most notably in sensors that detect early signs of transplant organ rejection.