Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created bio-compatible LED arrays that can bend, stretch, and even be implanted under the skin.
While this might cause some people to immediately think “glowing tattoos!”, the arrays are actually intended for activating drugs, monitoring medical conditions, or performing other biomedical tasks within the body. Down the road, however, they could also be incorporated into consumer goods, robotics, or military/industrial applications.
Many groups have been trying to produce flexible electronic circuits, most of those incorporating new materials such as carbon nanotubes combined with silicon. The U Illinois arrays, by contrast, use the traditional semiconductor gallium arsenide (GaAs) and conventional metals for diodes and detectors.