Shape-shifting electronic circuits inspired by blooming flowers could help usher in medical implants able to change shape within the body.
The ‘silicon honeycomb-serpentine reconfigurable electronic platforms’ were created by teams from KAUST and the University of California, Berkeley with the goal of developing systems that will flex with the body without affecting connectivity. Inspired by the stress distribution of a blooming flower, the team was able to use silicon as the backbone of the structure by integrating islands of electronics and supportive serpentine interconnects. This design compensated for the natural fragility of silicon and allowed the circuits to bend and twist without hampering performance.
The team hopes to eventually create a device that fits around the heart like a sleeve to monitor the organ and provide pumping support when necessary.