A silk casing enables long-lasting, implantable Wi-Fi medical devices

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Not the silk casing discussed. Flickr user: CameliaTWU For a variety of medical reasons, it’s useful to implant devices inside the body. These devices may be needed to help regulate the cardiovascular system, or they can release drugs inside the body. Unfortunately, they’re also problematic. Once such a device has served its function, it must be removed, which necessitates another surgery. Plus, the presence can lead to complications such as infection, inflammation, and pain. To address some of these problems, scientists have developed new kinds of circuitry that can safely dissolve in the body. While these water-soluble devices don’t need to be removed, they come with a new problem—they dissolve too quickly for many purposes. So a group of researchers have now reported that they’ve developed a new way to control how long the devices last. The researchers propose that dissolving devices could be encased in a material made from silk protein and magnesium. The advantage of this approach comes from a property of the silk: its crystallinity. Different preparations of silk dissolve in water at different rates depending on their crystallinities. Altering this property allows researchers to choose among a range of dissolution times from only a few minutes up to a few weeks. This gives more control over the duration of the device, which is important, since different medical situations require devices that can last vastly different times. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A silk casing enables long-lasting, implantable Wi-Fi medical devices

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