Review Article | Published:

Tissue–electronics interfaces: from implantable devices to engineered tissues

Nature Reviews Materials volume 3, Article number: 17076 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Biomedical electronic devices are interfaced with the human body to extract precise medical data and to interfere with tissue function by providing electrical stimuli. In this Review, we outline physiologically and pathologically relevant tissue properties and processes that are important for designing implantable electronic devices. We summarize design principles for flexible and stretchable electronics that adapt to the mechanics of soft tissues, such as those including conducting polymers, liquid metal alloys, metallic buckling and meandering architectures. We further discuss technologies for inserting devices into the body in a minimally invasive manner and for eliminating them without further intervention. Finally, we introduce the concept of integrating electronic devices with biomaterials and cells, and we envision how such technologies may lead to the development of bionic organs for regenerative medicine.

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Acknowledgements

R.F. thanks the Clore Scholarship programme, Marian Gertner Institute for Medical Nanosystems Fellowship and the Argentinian friends of Tel Aviv University. T.D. acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant 637943, the Slezak Foundation and the Israeli Science Foundation (700/13).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. The School for Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University.

    • Ron Feiner
    •  & Tal Dvir
  2. The Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Tel Aviv University.

    • Ron Feiner
    •  & Tal Dvir
  3. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University.

    • Tal Dvir
  4. Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel Aviv University.

    • Tal Dvir
  5. Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.

    • Tal Dvir

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Contributions

Both authors contributed equally to the preparation of this manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tal Dvir.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/natrevmats.2017.76