Flexible NFC Implantation (with video)

edited June 2016 in Implant stories
Thread title will be clickbait for a few hours because I need to edit the video before uploading.

(Edit:  The video is live...  scroll down a few posts to see it!)
(Edit 2:  The write-up is live now, too.  Just a bit past the video.)

I implanted one of Cyberise.Me's "V2" flexible NFC implants in the back of my right hand less than an hour ago.  It was far more problematic than expected.  I feel (and look) a bit ragged after the experience.  I will provide a full write-up when I get the video uploaded.  For now, suffice it to say it bled more than expected, took longer than expected, hurt more than expected, and was a general pain in the butt to get done.  I feel about two shades darker than death right now.  That having been said, the read range is SO much better than a glass tag.  Totally worth the effort.  For now, here's a pic of my poorly bandaged hand (as I said, I'm feeling ragged and my quality of work has slid way off...  even my bandages show that).  This is the opposite side of my hand, but the amount of blood there should give you an idea of what the video will feature:

image

So, um, yeah.  I'm going to relax for a bit before starting editing video, but expect it before I go to bed tonight.
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Comments

  • Cool, looking forward to the write up and video. 

    Maybe I should pick up some lidocaine next time I'm in Mexico before I try one of these...
  • edited June 2016
    Editing the video now.  Yes, use lidocaine.  I experienced alot of pain doing this without it.

    * EDIT * - Done editing.  Video is authoring.  Runtime is just under seven minutes and includes a ton of time compression and cuts.  The raw video was just over 26 minutes long.
  • edited June 2016
    I look forward to it too. To be honest I was hoping that you would do it first so I could see how you approached the procedure.

    Slicing is a whole different ballgame than a little injection and I'm pretty nervous, but I still have every intention of implanting.
  • Slicing is a bit different than poking, but not so different as you might imagine.  The video is uploading now and will be posted here very shortly.  The write-up, though, will be a little later.  My hand hurts and typing is unpleasant right now.
  • edited June 2016
    I can imagine. Thanks for taking one for the team. Can't wait to read it!

    Also, props for doing all your implants without lido, this is pretty freaking hardcore. Still in awe over the nfc light implant.
  • edited June 2016
    Truth be told, this hurt more than the nfc light.  And without further ado...



    (EDIT:  The write-up will be tomorrow.  I'm not wanting to type anymore tonight.  Sorry.)
  • Damn, no wonder you're not wanting to do more typing. I'm looking forward to the write up, especially what you got for read distances. 
  • Again, your implant videos are incredibly hardcore. While I've implanted myself using needles without lido, I use lido for anything involving a scalpel.

    No hurry on the write up, don't want to stress your new implant after all that. But when it stops hurting, I have a couple of questions for you. What read range do you get? different phones and skin thickness both effect read range, so I'd be interested in hearing what range you get.
    Also, you mentioned how much harder it was than implanting the nfc light. Could you explain why? is it because of the location on the back of the hand? The wider thinner implant? Some other reason?

  • edited June 2016
    And now, the write-up.

    Obviously, everything was disinfected prior to use.  The bowl in the rear of the video contains 91% isopropyl alcohol.  The bowl in the front contains sterile saline.  The bottle I pour onto the site several times during the procedure is 91% isopropyl alcohol.  The scalpel is a number 15 disposable.  I do not remember the suture size off hand, but it is nylon with a curved cutting needle.  The surgical probe is stainless steel and is identical to the one I used in the nfc light implant video.

    As the video shows, using forceps, I pinched the tissue in the area where I intended to incise, had an assistant hold them to create a tenting of the skin, then used the scalpel as a piercing implement.  After I felt I had pierced deeply enough, I had the assistant release the forceps and I began the crossways incision.  Going all the way back to my first attempt at magnet implanting, I had already learned that making a long cut across virgin skin with a scalpel was not something I enjoyed doing.  I had theorized that if I could pierce the area first, the crosswise cut might somehow be more bearable.  Was that the case?  Well, no, it wasn't.  Scalpels versus unanesthetized tissue are never going to be nice.

    Anyway, after getting the width wide enough to (I thought) insert the implant, I used the probe to separate the layers and create the pocket.  I thought I'd done pretty well.  The bleeding was quite alot more than I expected, but I wasn't at all alarmed.

    Now I tried to insert the implant.  And as the video showed, my opening was not wide enough.  I widened it and tried again.

    At this point, as the video shows, I tried repeatedly to insert the implant.  You'll see in there that I had issues with connective tissue not allowing the implant to go in far enough.  I suspect that the probe was in some cases just stretching connective tissue rather than tearing it.  The implant, not being rigid, had no ability to push the connective tissue aside, so it would instead refuse to slide in further.  Thus I had to keep inserting the scalpel and attempting to cut the connective tissue instead.  You can see the repeated attempts at this throughout the process.  Make no mistake, the scalpel caused a good deal of pain each time and by the time I last use it in the video (the time that I slide it WAY inside my hand), I was mentally cringing at the thought so badly that, well, words fail me here.  I can't find the right ones.  It was bad, though.  Very bad.

    A source of considerable consternation was that once the implant was fully within the hand, I needed to slide it further away from the opening so I could stitch without damaging it.  It simply would not slide further inside by massaging it, as I had hoped would be the case.  I tried several times to use the probe to guide the implant in.  The implant would get to where I wanted it, but would slide back out with the probe rather than stay where I needed it.  You'll also note that around the four minute mark of the video, the implant became partially folded.  The video does not show it, but several minutes were spent after that inspecting the implant to make sure everything still looked okay with it.

    When I finally had it in place, I placed two stitches at the opening to aid in healing.  It proved a little challenging.  I was shaking quite badly at this point.  Tying a surgeon's knot one handed (and left handed at that) while feeling completely stressed out is not something I'd wish on anyone.  Anyway, I got them in, trimmed the strings, cleaned up a bit, then bandaged.
  • Now I'm going to take a few moments to talk about the stress I was feeling during this.

    The pain was more than expected.  As I've made known, I don't use anesthetic.  I feel like I have a pretty good handle on pain and know how to continue to operate reasonably normally despite it.  It's also something that gets easier each time I do it.  But the pain here was a bit much.  The fact that I kept needing to go back to the scalpel for more cutting was really taxing on me mentally.  The anticipation of the cutting each time became nearly unbearable.  I did not include the raw audio for a couple reasons, but if you'd heard me, you'd never have known the stress I was feeling.  I sounded reasonably cool and collected even if I was not really feeling collected anymore.

    The amount of blood at first annoyed me and later became something else; not annoyance but I don't have the right word for it.  I hadn't expected so much based on other implants and it just kept coming.  It didn't really obscure my view or anything, but it just made the whole process feel too messy.  More blood, more mess, more stress.  Does losing that amount of blood do anything physically to a person?  I don't think so, but maybe someone more knowledgeable than I would care to chime in.  The blood added to the stress, though.  It also caused the original camera man to declare he needed to leave the room or risk passing out or vomitting.  The camera changed hands and filming continued, but that somehow affected me mentally, too.  I can't say exactly why, but his needing to leave made me worry.

    I kept up a steady stream of banter throughout the entire process.  I find that it helps both myself and the other people in the room.  We talked about movies, implants, other implant videos, drones (another hobby of mine and one of the assistants as well), work, plans for the following day, etc.  I do try to let assistants know how I'm feeling, though.  When I poured alcohol onto the site for the first time during the procedure, one assistant asked me if it hurt.  That alcohol felt like hydrochloric acid.  My reply, though, was a calm "Yes".  My pain and stress never entered the tone of my speech, but I did tell them when things hurt and about my deteriorating mental state.  Though the x4 time compression later in the video obscures it, I was shaking quite badly at the end.  Tying the knots in the stitches was nearly impossible for me.  The second stitch didn't end up with a surgeon's knot because I couldn't manage it.  I couldn't pick things up properly or hold onto things well.  It's so odd.  I keep saying the stress caused it, but was it only stress?  Was it really so bad as all that?  I'm not sure.  I can't really say why I was shaking.  I can't connect that physical symptom directly to anything at all.

    I want to close this portion by saying that you should use lidocaine for things like these.  The pain without it is too much and not necessary.

    Now for read range...

    How does more than an inch strike you?  Because that's what it is with my smartphone.  Compare that to the 2-3mm of my glass tags using the same phone.  There is simply no comparison in performance.  It's not as far as low frequency chips with a dedicated reader, of course, but believe me when I say that these flat NFC tags are so much better than NFC glass tags, you'd swear they must be entirely different technology.
  • A quick update...

    The hand is quite comfortable now.  Typing is no longer painful.  A scab has fully formed across the incision.  There is some minor swelling, but nothing at all alarming.  A dog bite in the same area several years ago swelled far worse than this (a couple scars from that are visible in the video if you look closely).  There is some bruising that interestingly seems to terminate as it runs into the surrounding veins on all sides.  I find that humorous for no good reason at all.

    I didn't mention this earlier, but last night before bed, I actually created a makeshift splint.  Basically, I taped a 12-inch wooden ruler into the palm of my hand, across my wrist, and partly down my forearm.  Three good-sized pieces of medical tape held it in place.  I had been worried about placing undo stress on the site while sleeping due to bending my wrist too far.  Worked like a charm.  I don't feel like I'll need it tonight.

    I am having my usual bad reaction to the adhesive in the medical tape.  I've tried a few different brands now and they all cause it.  Basically it's contact dermatitis.  Unfortunate.
  • I find it extremely ironic that you can got through a of these procedures without lido, and yet, adhesive from tape and bandaids give you so much trouble!
  • As do I, as do I...
  • It's always the simple things that mess me up, personally. 

    THANKFULLY, I got to learn that i'm not allergic to lidocaine when going through surgery in the hospital. *free diagnosis for alternative uses ftw* :3
  • edited June 2016
    Glad you're feeling better. Sucks about the medical tape, though. Thanks for the video and the write up.
  • Awesome video. I can't wait to get mine placed in my left index finger. I have a piercer that will be doing it for me. He has already done a few rfid injections for me and implanted several Haworth magnets for several others. As such I have great faith in him.
  • @trybalwolf, take video if you can! It seems like the flexible tags have some promise for mainstream biohacking so we should document as much as possible.

    Just curious, do you think your fingers are wide enough for it? I know Amal had is prototype in his finger, but he is a bigger guy with bigger fingers
  • If the flex chips are going to be a thing we for sure need to find out a better way of putting them in, that video just looks like a terribly inefficient way of doing it. I would love to talk with some people on something up with and engineering an tool specifically for this application
  • I think the connective tissue was the biggest problem, coming up against it and having to keep removing more to fit the implant in. I know there's connective tissue all up in there, I just didn't really consider it until the video. 

    My initial thought was to mark out the dimensions and make an L-shaped incision placement. Then I could (theoretically) deal with the connective tissue a little more easily. Though I'm not sure how easy it will be one-handed. Or if it will work. 
  • I think that marking would have helped a lot, you wouldn't need to go back in with the blade that many times. I think a tool needs to be made that holds the front of it and can push pull the tag all the way to the back of the pocket so that it doesn't do that whole popping back out thing. Maybe the tag would be engendered with a small hole on one end that can be held with tweezers kinda as a handle to make the implant easier to manage and move around. it would add an extra 2-3mm but I would be fine with that seeing as its already pretty big as is and it would make it go by way quicker. 
  • edited June 2016
    @Benbeezy I wonder if we could make it simple enough to 3D print. I've got a couple of the tags so I would be willing to try it a few different methods. Personally I am still curious about rolling them into a syringe like a normal implant
  • @chrisBot I think we could for sure print something up for it, I have a printer and id assume most people have access at this point. We should talk more about it, what ideas do you have?
  • edited June 2016
    @Benbeezy, I was almost thinking something like a really thin spatula. It may even have lips around the edge so that the implant won't buckle when you slide it in. Then you could use some other instrument to hold the implant in place while you slide it back.

    Also that way, you would know that if the spatula could fit in your incision, your implant would definitely have plenty of space.

    I can see it in my head. I will try to CAD something up tomorrow, hopefully it will make more sense.

    I've got a printer too so we can probably prototype pretty quickly. (We are living in the future!!) 
  • Here is what I was thinking for it. LINK TO IMAGE something like this I think would work pretty well. but it means that you would have to change the way that the silicone is put on to make more space (I think I am not sure as I do not have one)
  • I had a very similar idea for a spatula shaped instrument for the NFC light.  I posted a quick mock-up pic over in that thread. (link)

    I should have marked out the width.  Depth, though, should have been fine from the start.  As @katzevonstich said, connective tissue was the issue.  The probe would simply stretch the connective tissue to the side rather than tear it.  It would feel like it would be fine based on the probe, but then the implant would catch anyway.  So back in with the scalpel.  Ended up needing to do it a few times.

    For anyone interested, I removed the stitches last night.  Too long and stitches act as a permanent entry point for bacteria, so I feel like they should only be left in a for a few days.  At any rate, the area is nicely sealed shut, though I'll be careful not to stress it much.  I sleep with the site bandaged as well as keeping it covered for about half my waking hours.  The site looks very healthy and is almost painless now.  The bruising is almost entirely gone.
  • edited June 2016
    Okay here we go. Similar to Aviin, I think that some type of spatula might be good. I like the idea of the hole in the implant because you could make the instrument really nice and thin. I do think it would be kind of bother some to have the extra piece of floppy silicone on the end of the implant. On the other hand, the hole might help keep the tag anchored in place.

    LINK (because it is still a mystery to me why embedded images dont work)




  • the only issue I see with that is you cant "disengage" to retract the printed part back out. you need to somehow to able to hold the tag in place while pulling the thing back out. This is the reason that I though of more of a stick so you can push down the sides with a finger and pull out. Both have good and bad parts, I think some hybrid of the designs would work best. Maybe @ChrisBot's design but with the top corner missing so you can push to hold in place there while the other 3/4 of the tag is still rigid. Or maybe the implant should be made out of a slightly more rigid silicone so that it can't fold up, the "flex" part is only cool for the 10 degree curve of the hand/finger so something more rigid would still work just fine. just so many options.
  • edited June 2016
    alright v2. I was thinking that if you insert it with the implant face down, you could then use another probe to keep the edge pushed down.

    Sorry for all the sharp edges, my windows partion crapped the bed( damn windows 10) and Linux cant CAD it's way out of a paper bag so I've got to use browser based stuff

  • @ChrisBot openscad man. It works on all OS's. But yeah, that is kinda what I was thinking. If you use a second tool then you would still have the same pulling out issue, this way you only need one tool in a hand at once.
  • oh duh.... it didn't occur to me that you can't use your other hand because you know...it's being operated on....

    So I guess this design may require a helping hand. This seems like it would be pretty hard to use one handed. I guess I'm thinking a little more short term just because I already have the implants. I would be curious to see how the hook and hole tool could work though.

    +1 on the openscad, I'll give it another go 
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