Test Implant 04/22

edited May 2015 in Procedures
Just because y'all love the blood and guts and such. This is just foreplay - I'm sure Glims will provide an explanation and better photos. image



  • You can't tease us like that.
  • Full write up, pics, procedure, etc etc, tomorrow am.
  • The suspense is killing me guys D:
  • That much blood can only mean success.
  • Is...is that a USB cable...coming out of his arm?
  • I cant see the images.

  • Me to glims "how'd the implant go?"
    Glims "doing it right now"
    Me "wait like right now? You're on Skype"
    Glims "I fail to see your point."
    Me "..... Lol. Awesome"
    I'd mention what the project is but watching y'all fan girl is entertaining as hell so I'll let glims drop it when he uploads the rest of the pics and whatnot. Suffice it to say I look forward to making the rest of the pieces for this project starting tomorrow when my exams are over.
  • So, please read everything first before discussion. This will be a two part post. First is testing scaffold design, second is implant.

    Just so you can get your squees out of the way, yes, I literally have hardware with an out port. Let's move on.

    I will do my best to give as much information as possible. THIS IS A TEST. This is only for coating testing and functionality post processing. Don't worry, I will point out issues here.

    Album at bottom. Please split screen so you can read along while you ogle the pics. Sorry a few were out of order. Imgur was being a dick.

    This is a 64gb usb stick, freed from it's housing.
    This is a cable, similarly cut free.
    I removed as much as possible and tested to make sure it still works. Turns out most of that housing is just to hold it steady.
    I ended frying 3 chips with prototyping, and learned that there is a finite amount you can remove before you end up having wiggly wires that torch things.

    This is why the latest setup (with clips) is so bulky. Yes corners. Yes size. It's a scaffold for testing and it sucks.
    You can see that I slid a cuff on. This basically became the port that will transverse the skin. You can also see electrical tape sealed with super glue. Not my brightest moment, but it was what worked.

    Since the entire setup was then coated in pdms, I felt comfortable that whatever was beneath the coating was separate. This is mainly what were testing here, so it makes sense to point that out.

    I used an airbrush gun attached to a modified air compressor. Nitrogen would have been ideal, but I have neither the cash, nor paperwork to store tanks here.

    Sylgard184 (diluted) was sprayed onto the surface in multiple coats. You have to give it time between each coat to begin to crosslink, or you end up with it all dripping off. Out of order is a pic of the gauge on the compressor. I have found that 15psi through the airbrush is ideal for making a uniform smooth surface. Higher pressures blow it off. Lower and you don't get any spray. Ideal conditions would have finished with me popping this in a vacuum oven at 80degC for 24 hours, but that wasnt an option. I used a heatlamp instead for the crosslinking finalization.

    It looks a bit lumpy, and that's due to poor crosslinking conditions. However, the coating was fine.

  • The Implanting

    This part is way more straightforward. First, we shaved my arm and then I took a shower and scrubbed my entire body in chlorohex.
    Big cuts require big cleans!

    Next we dotted out the outline of the cut. You may be able to tell, the cut came in along the length of the arm, and then pocketing was done down from the cut. Basically, we torques the implant in to reduce the amount of actually cutting as opposed to pocketing being done.

    Then there's pics of Cassox doing his thing.... Then we popped the implant in, and Cassox stitched it up. We then attached steri strips, gauze, and a bunch of tape to hold things in place.

    The cable is a bitch. Future designs have dealt with this but if the question is, why such a long cable, the answer is, I'm not crawling up on a desk to test it.

    As soon as I was wiped up I plugged into my computer and did a file transfer, just to make sure everything worked.

    Top it of with 800mg of ibuprofen and 900mg of clindamycin and I was set.

    Implant was at about 4pm, it's 930am the next day. Bandages have been changed, sutures look great, site looks happy. There is a little bruising at the non jack end. Due to me exploding so many little chips, this protoype was 5 mm longer than I had planned. Kind of a pain.

    I will be removing the device in a day or so and testing the coating for stability, as well as doing some up close examination of the fouling and anything else I can find.


    Cassox and I will answer any questions you have and the procedure or the process.
  • Oh, I forgot.
    Finished plans call for a titanium tubing coated with hydroxyap and then ecm to allowing binding both inside and more importantly, at the surface.
    I am in no way saying that silicone is a viable coating fro transdermals. I just needed to test this because some of the bits inside will end up having silicone and we needed to make sure that the chip and my body would be ok with it.. Not the trandermal bits tho.
  • Was about to say the same . Thanks for clearing that bit up. Looks like it went wel . Holy fuck that thing looks big in the pictures though lol. I'll post some pictures of the tubing bits once they're ready but it'll be a while till I'm happy with it and until then no pic . Sorry ocd about projects looking proper before posting.
  • Well this certainly has me all excited and jittery, Iunno about you guys. I'm already thinking about what sort of small devices I would want implanted that would need to use a transdermal cable...I think this will be great for power/charging, at any rate.
  • edited April 2015
    Make sure that you eliminate any possible way for that USB cable to wiggle around subdermally near the implant itself. I can't wait to see your next designs, and how you deal with bulk, and such.

    So, why did you make design it at a right angle like that, and are you planning on doing it that way in the future? It places a lot of stress on the cable, and increases the possibility that your cable will pull loose of the solder at some point. And repurposing a cable like that, which wasn't originally designed to be primarily straight, will mess with your coating. A cable running parallel to the skin, or at an inclination that's closer to 0 (maybe a 25 or 35 degree angle?), would be much nicer for a lot of reasons. Also, a cable that sticks straight up like that is going to be even more fun the first time it gets caught on something.

    I've got a few simple ideas for size reduction and improved survival, from a wear and tear standpoint, but I'd like to test them first, since they involve some tricky soldering.

    I have to say that your connection system is really clever. 
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • The final cable design is at roughly a 30deg angle with the top beveled to be estimatedly flush with the skin. The current design allowed me to not stress the metal in a system that is already twisted, and lets be fair, chock full of failure points.

    The 90 deg angle wasn't too much of an issues except for poor cass to suture around. The length of the cable itself was terrible tho. As you can imagine, it acts as a lever. You can see in the final pic how we looped it around and then taped it down to stop it from wiggling.  All of the solder points are encased in thermoplastic, so that particular issue is moot.

    We don't want a usb port per se, the amount of "pull" that you would deal with on a regular basis would basically cause rejection as mentioned.  We are going for a "snap" on version. I know how much you guys like magnets...

    So, once we get the next model up, we can look at how much size reduction and wear issues have been averted. I estimate roughly half size in length, tho a bit uniform in thickness. 

    As for updates, no more pain in the arm. The cable was clipped off a few hours ago. You guys gotta remember, this is a test implant, so the cable served it's purpose, but it was a pain, so now it's gone.
  • Scary stuff. But definitely useful testing.
  • Just a quick commentary here.. this is testing of coating procedure and transdermal design. Having an implanted transdermal usb if this initial design is essentialy useless. You need a cable. If you can carry a cable, you can carry a smaller usb drive. So while it may work as an art project our something, this isn't intended as a useful device as is. Transdermal power and the ability to interface with exterior devices however it's something worth pursuing.
  • @Cassox Agreed, also implanting somethign that you know will rapidly lose usefulness/obsolesce in a few years is kinda silly. Storage evolves rapidly and devices get smaller, faster, denser making old ones progressively less useful as time goes on.

    I think cable-connected tools might be an interesting way to use this, like having an implanted geiger-muller tube that has a small transdermal port, so you can use a patch cable to connect it to whatever device you're using to take readings. These tubes haven't changed in any meaningful way in some time, but the readers evolve as any other gadget while retaining backwards-compatibility through standardized connection cables (you can even plug a 30-year-old tube into an iphone and use the "GeigerBot" app, I shit you not). This is just an example and I'm not sure how realistically useful an implanted GM tube would be to anyone, but that's an important direction I think we should explore for subdermal-yet-cabled devices.
  • Can someone explain to me this logic cause to me it makes no bloody sense. The point of this is two fold, we're making it because A) just plugging damn cables seemingly into yourself is awesome and B) it makes for a great proof of concept. Yes you can carry around USB storage but how easily lost are the diminutive USBs they sell these days? And dismissing 'just' implanted USB storage as useless is hardly fair, especially if you consider the blatantly obvious security aspects can provide. An implanted chip can't be stolen or accessed without your knowledge. Keep your important shit on it and carry it with you wherever you go. It's definitely the first step to many bigger things and already useful in itself for that reason.
  • In reply to @TheGreyKnight in another thread-

    The point of having unique coating that we are working on is to help with skin integration and reduce/stop infection events. (This is not in this model btw)

    Basically, your big infection issues come from the fact that there is a big freaking hole in your skin. By coating the transdermal with something that something that allows binding on a cellular level, you close that hole. As has been mentioned in other threads, there are quite a few things in the animal kingdom that we would consider transdermal (horns etc). The difference is that these things usually shift from one material type to another without actually breaking surface as it were. By using modern bonding techniques, we are hoping to replicate that. Hydroxyapatite is already commonly used for those transdermal cranial hearing aids. We're just trying to beef it up another level beyond that.
  • Here we go. Pic link at bottom.

    So testing time. Testing in this case was basically "how much crap adhered in different areas?" , "is he all gooey?", and "where did it suck?". It's important to note flaws and success.

    Just before anyone jumps on it, we're talking about thin coatings and a static (non battery or moving) system. 24 hours is more than enough time to test in a lab setting. We went 48. Leaving it in till failure would have been unnecessary.
    We were looking to test, that's all. 

    You can see the sutures worked out well, despite the difficulties of sewing around a big cable. We're both looking forward to not doing that again.

    On to the dissection scope pics of the coatings in various areas. First we have the chip assembly area. This is the area that was the most important, as this is where the silicone will be needed in the final design.  You can see the pitting that I mentioned previously. Silicone just does that. It's really not ideal, but may be our best option.
    A rinse with saline showed no fouling or adhesion. The surface was actually really smooth and clean looking. So this was a win.

    This is the metal area. Ignore the black mark, that's a tiny piece of fuzz from the air. However, you can see that near that area there are microfractures. I assumed this would happen. This is the trans area. The surface isn't completely broken at this point, but it would be in a bit more time. This is exactly why people use either extremely thick coatings or not silicone in movement areas. The implicit issue is that when microfractures occur, they will eventually lead to issues, even if the coating is never completely breached.

    Now the really bad part. This is the bend area, a combination of thermoplactic coated with epoxy. Due to it being a pivot point for micro movements there were lots of microfractures. As mentioned, thermoplastic is actually not a friend when coating with silicone. You can see that the microfractures led down to the surface. In an interesting twist, it turns out that the epoxy was porous. This allowed for absorption of blood and other fluids, thus making it look like a meaty bit of doom. In the long term, this would have sucked. I'm happy I tested it this way tho. Using just blood/saline and a flow chamber wouldn't have given this failure profile. 


    Anyway, there you go y'all. Hope it's been informative. As always, please ask any questions you have. When we move on to the next model, it will be another thread, to keep things organized.

  • So, did the microfactures in the metal area occur in the epoxy/Silicone? Or the titanium?
  • Could you tell us the exact size/dimensions of this implant?
  • Oh god no the fractures did not occur in the metal. I thought that was pretty clear. Wow, that would have sucked.

    So the dimensions are a bit weird as I was trying to keep it as reduced as possible, so there are quite a few taper points.

    The chip end is 12mm wide and 2mm thick. It tapers towards the widest part at the thermoplastic-chip juncture at 14x7mm. This is over the length of 33mm.

    There is then a quick taper to the joint, which brings us down to 7x5mm over a length of 12mm  (this gives us a total length of 45mm to which the base of the post is added. Far to long)

    The post itself has a circular base 5mm in diameter while the post itself its a 10x3mm cylinder. While this seems long, less than half the post was above my skins surface. While this would improve with healing and reduced swelling, you can look at other transdermals from body modders. While your skin may be thin, the layers you are trying to get through to properly implant are much thicker.

    If you don't have the pics handy, it looks like a slug wearing a top hat.

    The two major areas that caused issues were the length of the implant and the height of the base from the rest of the implant (dat elbow). Not that anyone is surprised to hear me say it, but you should not put something longer than ~35mm in the arm area. Now we have a hard number. There was slight bruising and minor pressure and distention of the skin due to the increased length, and it would have caused issues in the long run.  Oh, also I've said it a billion times, corners do not go in the body if you want things to work.
  • You have to break the rules to make the rules.
  • Holy shit, this was a delightful thread to read through for an exciting Tuesday morning! (Hm, it's pretty trivial to turn flash storage into bootable media. Insert silly reference to "How to Install Linux on a Dead Badger" :) ) 

    Thanks for such an in depth writeup and gallery! 
  • So part of redesigning the thought emporium's website is all of our products are getting the sarif treatment to look like the posters they use for their mods. SO anyone who's a deus ex fan should know what I mean. Either way the first one I finished is for this project so now you guys can see a little of what's to come with this.
    this is without the final photoshop pass to make it look like the posters this is the raw image but either way here it is
  • Something occurred to me just now. Will the final implant be water/airtight in the plug receptacle? This sort of feature is without a doubt essential for any transdermal implant. Swimming and showering could be a problem otherwise.
  • yes obviously. we wouldn't make it so you couldn't shower.... that's just silly.
  • But is submersion going to be a possibility?
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