Osseosurface electronics-thin, wireless, battery-free and multimodal musculoskeletal biointerfaces

Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 18;12(1):6707. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27003-2.


Bioelectronic interfaces have been extensively investigated in recent years and advances in technology derived from these tools, such as soft and ultrathin sensors, now offer the opportunity to interface with parts of the body that were largely unexplored due to the lack of suitable tools. The musculoskeletal system is an understudied area where these new technologies can result in advanced capabilities. Bones as a sensor and stimulation location offer tremendous advantages for chronic biointerfaces because devices can be permanently bonded and provide stable optical, electromagnetic, and mechanical impedance over the course of years. Here we introduce a new class of wireless battery-free devices, named osseosurface electronics, which feature soft mechanics, ultra-thin form factor and miniaturized multimodal biointerfaces comprised of sensors and optoelectronics directly adhered to the surface of the bone. Potential of this fully implanted device class is demonstrated via real-time recording of bone strain, millikelvin resolution thermography and delivery of optical stimulation in freely-moving small animal models. Battery-free device architecture, direct growth to the bone via surface engineered calcium phosphate ceramic particles, demonstration of operation in deep tissue in large animal models and readout with a smartphone highlight suitable characteristics for exploratory research and utility as a diagnostic and therapeutic platform.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Power Supplies*
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena*
  • Electronics / instrumentation*
  • Electronics / methods
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Musculoskeletal Physiological Phenomena*
  • Musculoskeletal System / anatomy & histology
  • Musculoskeletal System / ultrastructure
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Thermography / instrumentation*
  • Thermography / methods
  • Wireless Technology / instrumentation*
  • X-Ray Microtomography / methods