A team of Japanese developers is claiming that they have created a flexible electrical circuit that’s drastically thinner than conventional kitchen plastic food wrap.

nature12314 f1 Micro thin electric circuit may eliminate bulky health implants

The ultra-thin film is just one-fifth the thickness of most conventional food wrap, and is said to be non-intrusive enough that there are possibilities that we may find the technology applied to implants in the future.

Measuring in at just 2 micrometers thick and weighing around 3 grams per square meter, the film may lessen the amount of discomfort for people needing implants as many current healthcare sensors often rely on rigid silicon materials.

To demonstrate how thin and light the film is, the developers dropped the material in mid air and watched it fall.  Like a bird feather, the film gently rocked back and forth as it slowly (even slower than a bird feather) descended towards the ground.

The materials used to make the film has also been found to be very tolerant of salty conditions, and developers reported that the film can remain operable within a person’s body for over two weeks.

Obstacles still lie ahead for the developers, as they still have to come up with a reliable power source small enough to match the film’s capabilities.  Also, improvements must be made to extend the film’s longevity if health implant is a direct course.

More here.