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Electronic Food: enabling edible electronic systems for biomedical and food monitoring applications


ELFO will provide the foundations of a new enabling technology for disruptive edible electronic systems, with applications in advanced biomedical devices for continuous monitoring of the health status within the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, as well as in electronic tags for food monitoring, serving public health and providing at the same time a very powerful tool against counterfeiting. These systems will be unperceivable and mass produced mainly with mask-less, printing and direct-writing methods. Besides being completely safe for ingestion, such devices will also be perceived as food, favouring public acceptance. Such an ambitious plan will be implemented by: i) creating knowledge on electronic properties of food and food derivatives and complementing them with edible solution-processable, mainly carbon-based semiconductors, thus developing an extended library of edible electronic materials; ii) developing large-area, solution-based, printing and direct-writing scalable processes with high lateral resolution for the precise patterning of edible functional materials; iii) developing edible electronic components required in systems, from logic to power and sensors; iv) validating the progress with two proof-of-concept systems, an edible radio-frequency pill with controlled drug delivery, answering the need for compliance monitoring devices and actuators within the gut, and an edible passive food Radio-Frequency identification tag, answering the need for certification and anti-counterfeiting devices directly onto or into food products. ELFO will give solid engineering grounds to the visionary perspectives of edible electronics, introducing imperceptible intelligence in any edible item, thus accessing more information on what we eat, how it is assimilated and enabling biomedical devices for mass health screening.

Fondazione Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia
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