Modulated degradation of transient electronic devices through multilayer silk fibroin pockets

Mark A. Brenckle, Huanyu Cheng, Sukwon Hwang, Hu Tao, Mark Paquette, David L. Kaplan, John A. Rogers, Yonggang Huang, Fiorenzo G. Omenetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


The recent introduction of transient, bioresorbable electronics into the field of electronic device design offers promise for the areas of medical implants and environmental monitors, where programmed loss of function and environmental resorption are advantageous characteristics. Materials challenges remain, however, in protecting the labile device components from degradation at faster than desirable rates. Here we introduce an indirect passivation strategy for transient electronic devices that consists of encapsulation in multiple air pockets fabricated from silk fibroin. This approach is investigated through the properties of silk as a diffusional barrier to water penetration, coupled with the degradation of magnesium-based devices in humid air. Finally, silk pockets are demonstrated to be useful for controlled modulation of device lifetime. This approach may provide additional future opportunities for silk utility due to the low immunogenicity of the material and its ability to stabilize labile biotherapeutic dopants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19870-19875
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 16

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • degradation
  • fibroin
  • resorbable
  • silk
  • transient electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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