In a groundbreaking achievement, Chinese scientists from Lanzhou University have developed a cutting-edge biodegradable, wireless energy-receiving and storage device capable of powering bioelectronic implants, including fully biodegradable drug delivery systems. Implantable bioelectronic systems, such as monitoring sensors and drug delivery implants, are minimally invasive, reliable ways to precisely monitor and treat patients.
The development of power modules to run these devices has lagged behind the creation of biocompatible and biodegradable sensors and circuit units.
Though there are biodegradable power supply units, they often can only be used once and have insufficient power generation for biomedical applications, according to the paper.
Meanwhile, power supply units connected to transdermal chargers can cause inflammation, and ones powered by non-rechargeable batteries may need to be surgically replaced, which can cause complications, according to the paper.
To address this gap, the researchers proposed a wireless implantable power system with “simultaneously high energy storage performance and favoured tissue interfacing properties," as its soft and flexible design allows it to adapt to the shape of tissue and organs.
The wireless power supply device consists of a magnesium coil, which charges the device when an external transmitting coil is placed on top of the skin above the implant.