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Flexible, Stretchable, Implantable LED Arrays Created

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the look-at-my-belly-screen dept.

Biotech 147

Zothecula writes "Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created bio-compatible LED arrays that can bend, stretch, and even be implanted under the skin. While this might cause some people to immediately think, 'glowing tattoos,' the arrays are actually intended for activating drugs, monitoring medical conditions, or performing other biomedical tasks within the body. Down the road, however, they could also be incorporated into consumer goods, robotics, or military/industrial applications."

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hm. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014338)


Think I'll install one in my wang. The lady will ask "Why does it say "YAD" on it? It'll get hard and spell out "You Are Doomed!"

Re:hm. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014402)

The lady will ask "Why does it say "YAD" on it? It'll get hard and spell out "You Are Doomed!"

Maybe one of those UV LEDs would help with birth control. Then again sunburn inside there might be painful.

Re:hm. (1)

the_one_wesp (1785252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014470)

On top of that, you'd be able to take a wiz in the dark without fear of missing :D What you do risk, though, is awkward questions like "Is that a glow worm in your pocket or... "

Re:hm. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014944)

Women can have them implanted in their chest, just above their cleavage:

Look Here
            V

Re:hm. (1)

JSC (9187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015178)

OK, just to get it said and out of the way...

Wow, check out the headlights on that girl over there!!!

Re:hm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34015576)

Is that even necessary? Seems like we look anyway.

Re:hm. (1)

JSC (9187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015048)

If they're high enough intensity and properly installed (forward pointing) and you'll never need that Flashlight app on your phone ever again.

perfect for a real wrist-watch.. (5, Interesting)

Fusione (980444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014346)

made out of wrist..?

Re:perfect for a real wrist-watch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014416)

I can see TokyoFlash [tokyoflash.com] doing something like that. you should totally pitch them the concept. :b

Re:perfect for a real wrist-watch.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014784)

My thoughts exactly.

Awwwww Yeeeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014378)

Lite-Brite tattoo, here I come!

Re:Awwwww Yeeeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014524)

Count me in on that one!!!!

Only I want the light up music synthesizer that can switch to show my heart rate and oxygenation levels.

or even better, switch to instantly show my alcohol content... Whee...

Re:Awwwww Yeeeah (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015778)

Or a tattoo that can tell you when you need another injection of counteragent to counteract the impending quicksilver madness because you overused your invisibility gland.

Actually (4, Interesting)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014406)

While this might cause some people to immediately think, 'glowing tattoos,'

Actually I imagined hooking up a super powerful LED to some nerve endings on the tips of my finger, then using it as a flashlight at any moment by training my brain to trigger the on-off switch like a muscle reaction.

Other immediate reactions included:
Finger Mounted Laser pointers
Hand turning red when commiting crimes, to deliver the line "You caught me red handed".
And holding my breath till my face turns blue.

Re:Actually (1)

socz (1057222) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014504)

How about getting rid of the screen on your phone and stick it in your palm or forearm for txting, emailing and web browsing!

That would be the ultimate wireless accessory!

Re:Actually (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014598)

Where will you put the battery? Nerves don't have the current to light an LED.

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014852)

I've been wondering for a while - how hard would it be to use glucose (and oxygen) from the blood to generate electricity? It's conveniently available energy, and there are systems in place to keep the concentration at a sensible level. Burning off another 0.5W or so sounds like it shouldn't have any significant averse effects...

Re:Actually (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015292)

That's the whole idea.

Re:Actually (5, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016134)

1 kcal (food calorie) is 4187 joules, or watt-seconds.

So 1 watt continuos power is about .00024 kcal/second.

A typical LED will light at 1.7 v and 15 mA, or about 25 mW.

Meaning you need about 6e-6 kcal/second to keep it lit.

Glucose is about 4 kcal per gram, so it would consume about 1.5e-6 grams of glucose per second, roughly 90 ug/minute, or 3.5 mg/hr.

For comparison, an average person walking at average speed burns about 100 kcal/hr, which is about 120 watts, but conversion to external work is only about 25% efficient so you can expect to light a 30-watt incandescent bulb walking on a treadmill, or roughly a thousand LEDs. Note, the conversion from LED to LED display isn't direct, as display LEDs are very small and put out less power than discretes; looking up AMOLED shows you can get away with maybe 100 mw total for something with tens of thousands of pixels, and one person on a treadmill could keep a few hundred of those lit.

But if you don't want a treadmill, you still need to find a way to convert the glucose to electricity. Right now the only way to get from here to there is burning the glucose (i.e., self-propagating exothermic oxidation) to make steam energy to drive a dynamo. Even the processes in neural and muscular action aren't a direct conversion; they're electromechanical systems that first use the splitting of bonds in glucose to activate ion-pumping channels that push charged particles to opposite sides of a membrane; then when the channels are triggered they open wide to allow the charges to flood back across, creating an electromagnetic wave along a neuronal wire (axon) or catalyzing further mechanical action in the large molecular levers and ratchets (actin/myosin) that shorten muscle fibers (myofibrils).

So we're back to needing a mechanical source of electricity and batteries. Maybe implant piezo or electromechanical generators in the larger joints, and do a few jumping jacks every few minutes to recharge.

Re:Actually (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016494)

What about using the kinetic energy from like arm swings or something to turn mini turbines on a wrist band or something (along the line of those self winding watches, but converting the energy to electricity and storing it in small batteries). Of course now we're back to having got wear something... Having a turbine, no matter how small, implanted just sound unpleasant.

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014638)

ET is way ahead of you..

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34015258)

While this might cause some people to immediately think, 'glowing tattoos,'

Actually, I imagined vagazzling [thedoctorstv.com].

Re:Actually (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015310)

Actually I imagined hooking up a super powerful LED to some nerve endings on the tips of my finger, then using it as a flashlight at any moment by training my brain to trigger the on-off switch like a muscle reaction.

Other immediate reactions included: - Finger Mounted Laser pointers

...and a little tweaking: s/finger/penis/g

Re:Actually (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015556)

Actually I imagined hooking up a super powerful LED to some nerve endings on the tips of my finger

Bad choice of location. I mean, it's a great choice for the utility of the flashlight, but poor because you're giving up a region of your most sensitive tactile sense.

Me, my first thought is forehead, like a headlamp, so both hands are free. Maybe with an adjustable lens to point it up and down. Make it so.

Oh but seriously, programmable, animated tattoos would be pretty cool. I might get one of those. :)

Re:Actually (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016806)

But then you don't have the utility of being able to angle the light source in different ways. Sometimes its better for angled reflective objects if the light is above the object to reflect into your eye, as opposed to coming from your head and then reflecting away.

Re:Actually (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015826)

I thought of the glowing numbers on John Nash's arm in "A Beautiful Mind". He was just hallucinating a few decades ahead of his time.

They did this in Logan's Run didn't they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34016400)

And look where that took us?

People on the run as their crystals turned black and were sent to execution chambers.

-- Mmmmm. Tasty treats! What do you call them?

    Soylent Green

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34016612)

or letting everyone in a pitch black room know exactly how you feel about them

"I'm doing this as hard as I can"

Re:Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34016724)

1) Tattoos
2) add drugs
3) add flashing lights
4) ...
5) err, just another night in a disco?

Or (3, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014430)

to immediately think, 'glowing tattoos,'

My thought was "animated tattoos tied to pulse and temperature monitors so the tattoo could display imagery to indicate my current mood."

Happy kitten means come and sit a spell. Mushroom cloud means someone needs killin'.

Re:Or (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014722)

to immediately think, 'glowing tattoos,'

My thought was "animated tattoos tied to pulse and temperature monitors so the tattoo could display imagery to indicate my current mood."

Happy kitten means come and sit a spell. Mushroom cloud means someone needs killin'.

An erection means I'm happy to see you.

Re:Or (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014934)

Or...

Under-the-skin indicator for blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Re:Or (3, Informative)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016638)

Or...

Under-the-skin indicator for blood sugar levels in diabetics.

There is actually a tattoo in the works that does this. Here is the link: diabetes tattoo [discovery.com] But using leds instead could work too.

Re:Or (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015270)

Happy kitten means come and sit a spell. Mushroom cloud means someone needs killin'.

I don't want to know what both together would mean.

Re:Or (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016596)

Happy kitten means come and sit a spell. Mushroom cloud means someone needs killin'.

I don't want to know what both together would mean.

It means you are Takashi Murakami [takashimurakami.com], obviously.

Advertisements (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014472)

So how long until I start getting spam messages about how I can use this to make my penis glow in the dark?

Re:Advertisements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014748)

Me thinking.. that having read how immediately that you thought of that, your penis probably already glows in the dark..

Re:Advertisements (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014876)

Nah, I just do improv a lot, and so have a very quick mind. ...maybe my mind glows in the dark? o_o;

Advertising (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014482)

You could be paid an unlimited lifetime supply of deodorant if you have the glowing LED tattoo "Deodorant levels low, buy more Axe Body Spray" tattooed on your hairy, gold chain festooned chest, which will of course be visible, since your shirt will be buttoned down to your crotch.

Excellent... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014486)

Now I don't have to take off my Tron suit... EVER

Re:Excellent... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015002)

Why would you need a tron suit? From what I can tell you could pepper your body with these devices and run around naked.... looking like you're in a tron suit.

Re:Excellent... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015210)

Why would you need a tron suit? From what I can tell you could pepper your body with these devices and run around naked.... looking like you're in a tron suit.

Exactly!

How do these two go together? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014496)

bio-compatible LED arrays that can ... be implanted under the skin

they could also be incorporated into consumer goods, robotics

What kind of robot needs bio-compatible LED arrays? What kind of consumer good ends up implanted under the skin? Even 7 of 9 would technically be a cyborg as opposed to robot.

I suppose you could embed very high efficiency red and blue LEDs and some algae in your lungs, and run the LEDs off stored body fat...

Glowing Cylon Spines? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014550)

I got nothing else to add

Re:Glowing Cylon Spines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34015460)

Glowing boobies...

My work is done.

Re:Glowing Cylon Spines? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015572)

Wait! I'm not done! Mood Boobies! Finally we will know if they really are interested...

Re:Glowing Cylon Spines? (2, Funny)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016406)

Mmmmmm Tron style bodies! Can't wait to see the first pr0n! It certainly would make the whole strip clubs scene much more enticing!

Robotics and medical uses are good, but... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014552)

Glowing tattoos would be a best-seller, even at high prices, just because it's unique and eye-catching.

Re:Robotics and medical uses are good, but... (2, Insightful)

Toze (1668155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014808)

Potential users of implantable LCD for medical purposes: small number.
Potential users of implantable LCD for fashion or entertainment purposes: large number.

Like robotic prostheses, the groundbreaking work will be done for medical reasons, where money is no object. However, the technology will see many more improvements in cost, efficiency, and useability once it becomes useful to a larger group.

Re:Robotics and medical uses are good, but... (2, Insightful)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015386)

Setting up a bunch of folks with glowing tattoos and tapping in to their display control network so you can use them for a giant living game of Tetris?

Games Workshop predicted this in 1985 Rogue Trader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014562)

This exact tech was discussed in the technology section of Rogue Trader 40k. The main purpose was glowing tattoos and digital wristwatches without the

Re:Games Workshop predicted this in 1985 Rogue Tra (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015496)

This exact tech was discussed in the technology section of Rogue Trader 40k. The main purpose was glowing tattoos and digital wristwatches without the ending of this sentence.

Right?

Neat (2, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34014878)

I have a needle phobia and have to get regular tests for RBC/WBC/platelets and hormone levels.

I'd love a solution to my levels that doesn't require a stick into my crappy veins and three to four vials of blood.

Re:Neat (1)

tirerim (1108567) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015188)

I don't have a needle phobia, but as I currently have to puncture my fingers multiple times a day to check my blood sugar, an implanted device that could give me a readout would be pretty awesome.

Re:Neat (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015392)

Yea, I feel for you diabetics.

Little needles like a finger prick don't bother me, IVs of any type make me twitch.

Kept me from trying heroin though ;)

Re:Neat (1)

OglinTatas (710589) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015216)

I'd like to see this as a glucose monitor powered by glucose itself. [technologyreview.com] Perhaps the array would begin to glow at 75 mmol/dL and increase in intensity from there. If it is off or laser pointer bright you are in trouble. Perhaps tie it in with an insulin pump so you only have to find one port site whenever you need to move the pump.

Ooh! Oooh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34014978)

PIPBoys!

Finally! (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015012)

At last there is hope for those of us that have problems finding the hole in the dark!

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34015478)

At last there is hope for those of us that have problems finding the hole in the dark!

That's the WRONG hole!

Re:Finally! (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016150)

At last there is hope for those of us that have problems finding the hole in the dark!

That's the WRONG hole!

That is what she said....

Re:Finally! (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015830)

It would probably be easier and cheaper to just unzip the eye slits of your latex gimp mask.

Tramp Stamp (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34015554)

Now serving number ____.

Re:Tramp Stamp (2, Interesting)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016190)

Now serving number ____.

I saw a girl with a tattoo that said this on her lower back (tramp stamp area). I think is was a henna tattoo. It was dark, but did not look like a regular tattoo. It still made me laugh though.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34015770)

"Hey Christmas Tree" (Arlnold Schwartzeneggar to Dynamo in the Running Man)

Similar tech has been in use more than a decade.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34015864)

..by Canada's QLT Inc. to "activate" their light-sensitive anti-cancer drugs.

Old news is exciting!

By Neruos (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34016076)

So...

If I'm diabetic and my insulin levels are low, I no longer need to prick my finger or draw blood. I can look at my insulin 'health led bar' and when it drops or changes color, I can take my shot. Would be awesome?

Same for any other illness that requires some sort of monitoring.

Popups (3, Funny)

FalconZero (607567) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016236)

Great - so when my wireless internet enabled skin display gets infected with spam, I'll have adverts for viagra appearing on my chest. Brilliant

LOGAN's RUN (1)

hachete (473378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016376)

Now, where's Jenny Agutter ...

Re:LOGAN's RUN (1)

Xerolooper (1247258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34016930)

So your saying that we could use them to track a persons age. That would be fine at first. No more wondering if that special someone you pick up for the night is really of age or not. Don't worry about remembering your ID when going on a beer run. We'll all know if your eligible to be president. Until the mandatory "retirement" age is lowered to 30 and anyone not reporting for recycling is labeled a runner.

Bio-compatible carcinogen? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34016462)

These LEDs are made of gallium arsenide, which is listed as a carcinogen.

I don't think "bio-compatible" means what they think it means.

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