Blending electronics with the human body: a pathway toward a cybernetic future
Andresen, Thomas L.
Date of Issue2018
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
At the crossroads of chemistry, electronics, mechanical engineering, polymer science, biology, tissue engineering, computer science, and materials science, electrical devices are currently being engineered that blend directly within organs and tissues. These sophisticated devices are mediators, recorders, and stimulators of electricity with the capacity to monitor important electrophysiological events, replace disabled body parts, or even stimulate tissues to overcome their current limitations. They are therefore capable of leading humanity forward into the age of cyborgs, a time in which human biology can be hacked at will to yield beings with abilities beyond their natural capabilities. The resulting advances have been made possible by the emergence of conformal and soft electronic materials that can readily integrate with the curvilinear, dynamic, delicate, and flexible human body. This article discusses the recent rapid pace of development in the field of cybernetics with special emphasis on the important role that flexible and electrically active materials have played therein.
© 2018 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and re-production in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.