Conventional transplantable biomedical devices, such as pacemakers, defibrillators, cochlear implants, drug monitoring and delivery systems generally request sophisticated surgery which however often causes big trauma and serious pain to the patients.
Researchers at TsingHua University in China presented an alternative way of directly printing three-dimensional (3D) medical electronics inside the biological body through sequential injections of biocompatible packaging material and conductive liquid metal ink. According to the researchers, this method is based on a minimally invasive injection process which therefore will significantly relieve serious sufferings of the patients.
…All the complex 3-D electronics is fabricated by using the clinical syringe as the injection tool. Firstly, fill a 10 ml syringe with 5 ml packaging material solution (mass fraction of 25.0%). And then vertically inject the solution into the target region at a rate of 1 ml/s. After removing the syringe, insert the syringe needle along the injection direction to shape a mold of electrode. About 3 ~ 5 min later, slowly remove the syringe needle and a three-dimensional packaging domain would be formed. Next, fill a 5 ml syringe with 2 ml GaInSn-based liquid metal ink and inject the ink into the electrode mold at a rate of 0.5 ml/s. Ultimately, an injected electrode can be fabricated. Using clinical syringe as the injection tool for fabricating complex 3-D object is the basic step of the present method. In fact, the size of the final object in the body can be either large or small, depending on the operation of the syringe needle and the injected amount/configuration of the liquid metal. All these difficult tasks request only a single or multiple injections….
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