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Biotech Medicine

Flexible, Stretchable, Implantable LED Arrays Created 147

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the look-at-my-belly-screen dept.
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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Flexible, Stretchable, Implantable LED Arrays Created

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  • by Fusione (980444) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:57AM (#34014346)
    made out of wrist..?
  • Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:01PM (#34014406) Journal

    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.

    • by socz (1057222)
      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!
      • by Gilmoure (18428)

        Pr0n would be... difficult.

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        "getting rid of the screen on your phone and stick it in your palm or forearm"

        No thanks, I hand my phone to other people too often, besides I don't want to go through surgery for a new phone every 2 years.
        • by socz (1057222)
          Oh man wouldn't that be something? "yeah I can't work tomorrow morning because I'm getting my new phone put in!"

          I am still thinking of a ghost in the shell like future! If we have artificial arms and legs, it could be as easy as sticking 2 lego together!
    • It sounds like something out of Bioshock, but I'd love it.

    • by blair1q (305137)

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

      • Oh - I didn't actually think these ideas through, these were my "immediate thoughts" when they said implantable LED.

      • And there's that second problem to overcome with "real" cyberware...
    • 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

    • Oblig (Score:3, Funny)

      by ddxexex (1664191)
    • Other use: WEIGHT LOSS!!!!!!!

      Show your friends and family how bright you are!

      (ducks)

    • Finger Mounted Laser pointers

      Close. Now get me a frigging shark.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      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. :)

      • 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.

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          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.

          But only rarely is this better if it costs you the use of your hand.

          If you want light coming from arbitrary angles, get a snake light. :)

      • Maybe with an adjustable lens to point it up and down.

        I have a beam-angle-adjustment mechanism already. It's called a neck ;)

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          Yes but you may want to adjust the angle relative to your face, or to get a good angle for the light without it being a bad angle for your neck.

          I say this from personal experience with headlamps, where ones that have an adjustable tilt are much more useful than ones without.

        • by iamhassi (659463)
          "I have a beam-angle-adjustment mechanism already. It's called a neck ;)"

          Some people no longer have these "neck" things you speak of, so we have to find alternatives. Fortunately the people without necks just happen to have fingers the size of sausages so putting a Maglite in there is no problem.
    • 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.
    • by myrdos2 (989497)
      ET Phone Home
    • by Khyber (864651)

      "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."

      Enjoy frying your finger as the diodes, without any active cooling or heat sink besides your body, heats up to a temperature hot enough to slag the diode after about 10 seconds of operation.

  • Or (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:03PM (#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: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • by sammyF70 (1154563)
      the kitten part is probably right on ... I can already picture the "Animated Hello Kitty" tattoos.
    • Re:Or (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:38PM (#34014934)

      Or...

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by slyrat (1143997)

        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.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      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.

      • by bughunter (10093)

        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.

    • Well, it does all that, and it injects drugs. Sounds like a winner...
    • My thought was "animated tattoos tied to pulse and temperature monitors so the tattoo could display imagery to indicate my current mood."

      Minmatar War Tattoos [eveonline.com]

  • 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.

  • Now I don't have to take off my Tron suit... EVER
    • by karnal (22275)

      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.

      • by srussia (884021)

        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!

  • 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...

    • Robotics can now be flexible, is basically the idea.

    • by Khyber (864651)

      "What kind of robot needs bio-compatible LED arrays?"

      The kind of robot that could target your skin with those LEDs and activate light-sensitive drugs, so a human doctor can be left to do analysis of other patients.

      "What kind of consumer good ends up implanted under the skin?"

      Hmm, piercings, body mods, maybe mood ring/indicators? Maybe flashlight eyes like in the original Deus Ex?

      "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 f

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Toze (1668155)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gilmoure (18428)

        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?

    • For about a month it'd be unique.
  • Larry Niven long ago wrote about an Implant Watch in "Cloak of Anarchy". Of course his was analog...
    • by hitmark (640295)

      With a big enough led array, it could be analog, digital or even nerdtastic binary.

  • Neat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029)

    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.

    • by tirerim (1108567)
      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.
    • 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.

  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday October 25, 2010 @12:43PM (#34015012)
    At last there is hope for those of us that have problems finding the hole in the dark!
  • How could I find my way around without google's constant help?

  • Tramp Stamp (Score:4, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday October 25, 2010 @01:21PM (#34015554)

    Now serving number ____.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BlackSnake112 (912158)

      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.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      ultra-tramp stamp: inverted words on the ass or back of thigh

      "sperm bank depository"
      "ride: one nickel"

      but then there's

      "if you can read this, you'd better be holding engagement ring"

      • by PPH (736903)

        "Please don't set your beer down here"

        Ever wonder what those Chinese character tatoos actually say?

  • ...you light up my prostate.

  • To glow red and pulse up and down, for when you're making little cylons with your favorite hoomanz.

  • Popups (Score:4, Funny)

    by FalconZero (607567) * <FalconZero&Gmail,com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @02:18PM (#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
    • by SheeEttin (899897)

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

      It... It won't be your chest they'll be advertising on. ;_;

    • by c0lo (1497653)

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

      You just need to plug in the NoScript.

  • Now, where's Jenny Agutter ...

    • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    • by Khyber (864651)

      You assume that alloy isn't ENCASED in something.

      Hint: 100% of diodes are encased, usually in resin or glass.

    • That array was added to a pre-stretched sheet of rubber, which was then itself encapsulated inside another piece of rubber, this one being bio-compatible and transparent.

  • I won't have to wear pants anymore! I will have to just turn on the Levis screen saver... And of course the first thought that crossed our minds: Mmmmm shiiiny boobs...
  • Color me not impressed. The pictures in the article make it look like crap. I'm fairly sure I could have done better in my garage.
  • I first thought of implanting a wireless connected display for a map display / GPS with of course time and temp and other environmental info. And optionally things like a nitro/blood gas meter for diving. I have a lot of forearm "display" space just going to waste. Now that it can display things, can they intercept the nerve impulses so I have a "touch" keyboard and graphics cursor / trackpad there too. Just putting on my shades, 'cuz the futures so bright. Of course the spy-tech comes to mind too so you

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