Silk-based resorbable electronic devices for remotely controlled therapy and in vivo infection abatement

Hu Tao, Suk Won Hwang, Benedetto Marelli, Bo An, Jodie E. Moreau, Miaomiao Yang, Mark A. Brenckle, Stanley Kim, David L. Kaplan, John A. Rogers*, Fiorenzo G. Omenetto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


A paradigm shift for implantable medical devices lies at the confluence between regenerative medicine, where materials remodel and integrate in the biological milieu, and technology, through the use of recently developed material platforms based on biomaterials and bioresorbable technologies such as optics and electronics. The union of materials and technology in this context enables a class of biomedical devices that can be optically or electronically functional and yet harmlessly degrade once their use is complete. We present here a fully degradable, remotely controlled, implantable therapeutic device operating in vivo to counter a Staphylococcus aureus infection that disappears once its function is complete. This class of device provides fully resorbable packaging and electronics that can be turned on remotely, after implantation, to provide the necessary thermal therapy or trigger drug delivery. Such externally controllable, resorbable devices not only obviate the need for secondary surgeries and retrieval, but also have extended utility as therapeutic devices that can be left behind at a surgical or suturing site, following intervention, and can be externally controlled to allow for infection management by either thermal treatment or by remote triggering of drug release when there is retardation of antibiotic diffusion, deep infections are present, or when systemic antibiotic treatment alone is insufficient due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. After completion of function, the device is safely resorbed into the body, within a programmable period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17385-17389
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 9 2014


  • Biomaterials
  • Drug delivery
  • Resorbable electronics
  • Silk
  • Theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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