implanted LEDs

has anyone experimented with implanting leds or any other small, novel electronic devices?

i have been considering making a small silicone implant, with something like one of these inside

the biggest issues i can see are the size.. but i have many friends with quite large silicone implants in their hands / forearms.

any thoughts?


  • i would go with coated oleds. they are smaller and just as bright. there a protocol floating around for making your own. it's not super difficult. then you just need to consider a power source...

  • alternately, you could just go for a luciferase gene mod ;)
  • The problem with LED's is that use a lot of power. If you can get the power to them, they should work fine. Red ones would probably show through better than other colors.
  • edited August 2013
    It would be best to use capatitors (EDLC), they have little degradation over thousands of charge cycles. 
    Like on Pulse album :)
  • What about just bioproofing and installing commercially available, sealed-operation LED devices? They have a limited lifespan, but may be an immediately-viable solution while better stuff is still in R&D.

    Like this thingy:
  • "has anyone experimented with implanting leds or any other small, novel electronic devices?" ... i wouldn't exactly call a led a novel electronic device. but it's certainly possible.

    the size is just a matter of the parts you want to use. the smaller, the less powerfull the led. you can build a led throwie with SMD parts the size of about 3x3x15mm. it would be pretty dimm tho.

    as @mkabala already pointed out. red is the only color that works. the skin's absorbtion of yellow or even green is about 100times higher than red.

    @zombiegristle where's the fun of building it :D? it's a good source of inspiration tho. a small binary counter could easily be added to the throwie circuit making it blink at high frequency. a good way to simulate an optical communication interface. at least enough simulation to see if that signal can be picked up by a receiver outside the body.

    @athlon caps could be added, but they tend to be rather big and don't store a lot of energy. even a goldcap of 10mm diameter and 5mm thickness only holds about 1.25J making a standard red LED with 20mA light up for around 20 to 40 seconds.
  • FWIW, Grindhouse Wetware's Circadia project (still under development) is an array of LEDs controlled by a microchip.  We're also looking at implanting just LEDs that can be powered inductively.
  • may i add that the circuit i see there is mostly wasted pcb space? i mean, size pretty much is critical for an implant and the layout seems rather wasteful in that regard. you may also want to consider using microcontrollers with smaller footprints, even if you can't solder them yourself, there probably are shops around which do repair electronics which could solder them for you. that'd save you a lot of space. but rearranging connectors with the parts you have would shrink it to 20% or even less.
  • IanIan
    edited August 2013
    I didn't design that particular PCB, but I'll certainly pass the message on to the person who did.  I don't think that's the final version, in any case.
Sign In or Register to comment.