Researchers develop soft memory with the consistency of Jell-O

Jul 15, 2011
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As technology progresses there are a number of ways that tech will be able to help people recover from illness and accidents that compromise the function of a part of the body. Often the sort of tech that can help repair damaged body systems has to be implanted. The problem with implanting electronic in the body today is that most of the gear is ridged and the body tends to reject anything it sees as foreign leading to the need for all sorts of drugs to prevent rejection in many instances.

A group of researchers at North Carolina State University has developed a new type of soft memory that opens the door to new biocompatible electronics that could be implanted into the human body. The teams says that the new memory has the consistency of Jell-O and is designed to function extremely well in a wet environment such as the brain. There are implanted electronics in the works that would be inserted into the brain to help stop seizures and even help to repair motor function lost to head injury and this sort of memory might be appropriate for future implants such as these.

The devices use a liquid alloy of gallium and indium metals that are set into water-based gels. The potential use is also great for medical monitoring and the team says that the memory functions like memristors that are being eyed as a next generation memory technology. Each of the memory devices has a metal alloy circuit with an electrode that sits on each side of the conductive gel. When one of the electrodes is exposed to a positive charge, it creates an oxidized skin that makes it resistive to electricity making the 0. When the electrode is exposed to a negative charge, the oxidized skin disappears making the 0. The 1 and 0 are the essential parts of binary code.

[via Eurekalert]


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