These electronic devices are made from special materials but perform like regular electronics. They're also wrapped in alternating layers that dissolve after specific periods of time. In the lab, Rogers' team implanted them in mice at risk for bacterial infection. The devices produced localized heat, according to the ACS, which prevented infection in the mice. Then the devices dissolved.
Instead of generating e-waste, such electronics could prevent it. In addition, self-destructing medical devices would avoid the need to have another surgical procedure to remove the thing. Beyond medicine, the devices could be sent out to monitor water quality without needing to be painstakingly gathered later.
Electronic Tattoo Grafts Gadgets to Skin
At the moment, Rogers and his colleagues are coming up with ways to mass-produce the devices instead of creating each individually in the lab. They're also working on ways to make the disappearing devices last longer while they function - for years instead of just weeks. This might be one of the few times when planned obsolescence actually helps.