New China TV, Degradable electronic device developed in Stanford.

Biodegradable Electronics

A Promising Solution to E-Waste Problem and Wearables

May 8, 2017, Tapio Mäkelä

Stanford University researchers have developed a semiconductor that is flexible and biodegradable. Made of cellulose and non toxic materials, this invention could be a solution to electronic waste.

United Nations Environment Programme predicts that 50 million tonnes of electronic waste will be produced this year. Stanford research team led by Zhenan Bao wanted to find a solution, and they wanted to create electronics alike human skin.

“We envision these soft patches that are very thin and conformable to the skin that can measure blood pressure, glucose value, sweat content,” Bao said. A person could wear a specifically designed patch for a day or week, then download the data.” 

Biodegradable electronics could also revolutionise wearable computing. Currently, most solutions create non-recyclable materials.

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