Recent development of flexible/stretchable integrated electronic sensors and stimulation systems has the potential to establish an important paradigm for implantable electronic devices, where shapes and mechanical properties are matched to those of biological tissues and organs. Demonstrations of tissue and immune biocompatibility are fundamental requirements for application of such kinds of electronics for long-term use in the body. Here, a comprehensive set of experiments studies biocompatibility on four representative flexible/stretchable device platforms, selected on the basis of their versatility and relevance in clinical usage. The devices include flexible silicon field effect transistors (FETs) on polyimide and stretchable silicon FETs, InGaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and AlInGaPAs LEDs, each on low modulus silicone substrates. Direct cytotoxicity measured by exposure of a surrogate fibroblast line and leachable toxicity by minimum essential medium extraction testing reveal that all of these devices are non-cytotoxic. In vivo immunologic and tissue biocompatibility testing in mice indicate no local inflammation or systemic immunologic responses after four weeks of subcutaneous implantation. The results show that these new classes of flexible implantable devices are suitable for introduction into clinical studies as long-term implantable electronics. A comprehensive set of biocompatibility studies on four flexible/stretchable device platforms, selected on the basis of their relevance in clinical usage, is performed. Direct cytotoxicity, in vivo immunologic, and tissue biocompatibility tests indicate no inflammatory or systemic side effects after four weeks of subcutaneous implantation. The results show that these devices may suggest new opportunities in permanent or semi-permanent implantable electronics.
- Biocompatible electronics