Transplant rejection sensor paves way for body-integrated electronics

New technology under development at The Ohio State University is paving the way for low-cost electronic devices that work in direct contact with living tissue inside the body.

The first planned use of the technology is a sensor that will detect the very early stages of organ transplant rejection.

Paul Berger, professor of electrical and computer engineering and physics at Ohio State, explained that one barrier to the development of implantable sensors is that most existing electronics are based on silicon, and electrolytes in the body interfere with the electrical signals in silicon circuits. Other semiconductors might work in the body, but they are more expensive and harder to manufacture.

‘Silicon is relatively cheap… it’s non-toxic,’ Berger said in a statement. ‘The challenge is to bridge the gap between the affordable, silicon-based electronics we already know how to build, and the electrochemical systems of the human body.’

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June 11, 2013



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