‘Living bioelectronics’ breakthrough could transform treatment of skin conditions


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(Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash)

(STUDY FINDS) — A small sticker-like device that could be worn on the skin to both monitor and treat inflammatory skin diseases like psoriasis is under development. Thanks to innovative research from scientists at the University of Chicago, Rutgers University, and Columbia University, this futuristic concept of “living bioelectronics” is now closer to becoming a reality.

Their innovative invention is called ABLE, which stands for active biointegrated living electronics. What sets ABLE apart from existing bioelectronics is its incorporation of actual living bacteria into the device itself. The specific bacteria used, Staphylococcus epidermidis, is a normal and harmless resident of healthy human skin.

According to the study in the journal Science, the ABLE device consists of a flexible electronic mesh embedded in a specialized hydrogel material. This hydrogel acts as a comfortable interface between the electronics and the skin while also providing an ideal living environment for the S. epidermidis bacteria, which thrive in this hydrogel matrix.

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