Established classes of high-performance electronics have driven advances in interventional biomedicine. However, the large size, planar geometry and stiff mechanical properties of standard conventional electronics employed in medical devices give rise to important integration challenges with soft biological tissue. Stretchable and flexible biointegrated electronics could improve treatment procedures across a broad range of applications, including cardiac, neural and endovascular therapies. Here we present novel mechanics, materials and integration strategies for this new class of bioelectronics onboard minimally invasive catheter based systems. Co-located arrays of sensors and actuators affixed to cardiac and angioplasty balloon catheters capture new sensory information during ablation procedures, offering physicians the ability to adjust placement and treatment intra-procedurally. New circuit topologies, enabled by stretchable electronics, also overcome long standing challenges associated with transmitting vast amounts of data through narrow catheter lumens, thus allowing for a large number of sensors to be multiplexed for mapping electrophysiological activity with high spatiotemporal resolution and with a minimal number of routing wires. We present representative examples that highlight the clinical significance of soft bio-integrated electronics, along with the mechanics and processes that enable this technology.
- Flexible electronics
- biomedical devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering