Electrodes Successfully Grown in Living Tissue

Injectable gel

Photo credit: Thor Balkhed

Using electronics that mimic our own biology has intrigued scientists for decades but now, the use of biomimicry is accelerating a whole new field of bioelectric medicine. 

Interfacing bioelectronics with living tissue could be the future when it comes to treating chronic pain and inflammatory disorders. In 2023, scientists are already on the pathway to success in growing electronically conductive material in tissue using an injectable gel.

This world-first methodology – developed by scientists from Sweden’s Linköping, Lund and Gothenburg universities – is an important step towards a future that sees fullyintegrated electronic circuits within the body.

Recently published in Science, this landmark research has seen the European research team inject specialised viscous gel into the tissue of live zebrafish and use medicinal leeches to grow soft, conductive electrodes in nerve cells

Looking ahead, there is real potential that the creation of electronic circuits in the human body could provide a superior solution to implanted devices that kick-start electronic signalling to treat various medical conditions.

“For several decades, we have tried to create electronics that mimic biology,” said study co-author and professor at Linköping University’s Laboratory for Organic Electronics, Magnus Berggren in a press statement.

“Now we are letting biology create the electronics for us.”

Read the full announcement from Linköping University, or download the full article via Science.