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September 29 2012

Tiny medical electronics dissolve harmlessly inside your body

A team of researchers has created a form of electronics that can be implanted in a patient's body then forgotten about because the implants will dissolve within a week or two. Such safe and hassle-free electronic monitoring could revolutionize medical care.

Implanting devices in the body is nothing new, but usually the risk is only worth it for life-threatening problems: a pacemaker, for instance, or an insulin pump. But there are lots of situations where constantly monitoring some vital statistic would be useful. A thermometer or blood sugar monitor could help make sure a post-operative patient is safe during the critical first week but the stress and cost of the implantation and removal operations can't be justified.

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