Carbon supplants silicon in electronic medical sensors

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BOSTON — Going organic isn’t just for produce anymore — it’s all the rage in flexible electronics.‎ Electronic medical devices constructed from carbon-based components — the materials scientist’s definition of organic — are cheap, bendable and friendlier to the body than the old standby silicon.‎

Researchers discussed several such organic devices December 2 at the Materials Research Society meeting, including a sensor that detects muscle contractions and one that monitors a person’s pulse and blood oxygen levels.‎

Their versatile qualities make organic electronics ideal for such medical applications, says bioelectrical engineer Annalisa Bonfiglio of the University of Cagliari in Italy.‎ “It’s a radical new world relative to silicon electronics,” she says.‎