New guy with lots of questions! Also, power idea.

edited February 2015 in Community
So, I just found out about biohacking completely by accident. I was searching YouTube for videos on syntetic biology and somehow came across Lepht’s speech on Cybernetics for the Masses. Since then, I haven’t been able to sleep well. My mind is abuzz with ideas and I’ve been digging through everything I can find to get more information. I have an understanding of physics, but not so much when it comes to actually building things. Something I need to learn, any ideas for practice projects? I’ve roped a few friends into the research, and they seem psyched so far. One of them is a med tech, so we may have access to some otherwise barred resources.

I plan to get one or two neodymium implants in my left hand to start with and (if they work out well) then move on to more. First two would be in my left ring finger and thumb. Which side of the thumb would you suggest? Don't want it directly under the pad, for pressure reasons.

On the idea front, I had one about subdermal power. If you move a magnetic field over conductive wire, you can generate an electric field. Would subdermal wires stimulated by a magnet (say in your hand?) be enough to power the Southpaw or something like it long enough to get a reading?

I've also been trying to think of other implants. The only ones i've seen so far are RFID, neopads, and southpaw. What other kind of input could you get without going transdermal? Maybe some sort of unsecured wifi detector? 

As for bioproofing, has anyone here actually used hot glue? If so, how is it working out and how long have you had it in?

Anyway, I'm sure I'll come up with more questions and ideas along the road. Thank you all for existing in the first place. I had given up hope that things like this could actually be possible.

(edited transdermal/subdermal mistake. Thanks!)


  • I wouldn't suggest the thumb at all, at least not yet.  Haworth has said that the thumb and index finger are not suitable places, because of pain and their common use. However, we've recently been looking into smaller implants, and I plan on testing to see if they'll work in the index finger or thumb any better.

    All those things you mentioned are subdermal (under the skin); I assume you meant transdermal (protruding the skin).  One simple way would be to follow the example of Kevin Warwick's students and build an interface with the magnet implants, by creating a device which outputs a pulsing magnetic field, with frequency proportional to the level of sensation.  Indeed, that's exactly the route we at Grindhouse have taken with our Bottlenose device.  It's also worth pointing out that one of the members on this forum, @SixEcho, once did some interesting work with transdermals.

    As for hot glue, the conclusion here with that or Sugru has usually been, "Meh."  If we're talking magnet implants, just get the ones pre-coated in Parylene or something similar.
  • Thanks for the advice on the thumb. Probably going to go with pinky and middle fingers then. I have these magnets in my cart ( but haven't purchased them yet. They seem to be the strongest small magnets I can find, but they are coated in nickel. Hence the hot glue question.

    You are right, edited my mistake. I like the idea of the ones that interact with my finger magnets, but implantable would be ideal. If only we could get a power source going... 

    I hear transdermals are bad news bears when it comes to hygiene. Any advances in that department?
  • rdbrdb
    edited September 2012
    Welcome to the community!  Just don't go and steal my lab walrus.

    Transdermals are possible, there's just a higher risk of rejection and such. Steve Haworth regularly does (non-electronic) transdermal modifications, though.

    As for other implant ideas, something I've been thinking about is a wireless cryptographic key to unlock doors and electronic devices.  An electronic device in the door could send out an identifier and a random set of numbers, and the implant could respond by signing the set of numbers using an internally stored private key and sending these back, unlocking the door.  It could contain something like an accelerometer so that I can make a certain gesture with my hand (like the gesture of turning a key) to trigger the door to open or the device to unlock.

    And before you wonder, RFID cannot be used for the same purpose because it is inherently unsafe.  RFID is only useful for identification.

    The second electronic implant I'd like to develop is something that would go in my upper arm and would monitor my blood oxygenation and my core temperature.  It would log these values throughout the day, and I could transmit them to my computer using a reader once a day or something like that.

    As for implant coating; if you're going to implant something, just take the extra effort to get some medical grade silicone or PTFE-shrink tube or something of the sort.  It's not worth it implanting something only to have to take it out several months later again.

    If you're getting magnets, then there are enough sources for biocompatible magnets out there.  Just search for PTFE-coated cylindrical stirrer bars, or something of the sort.
  • @rdb:  "And before you wonder, RFID cannot be used for the same purpose because
    it is inherently unsafe.  RFID is only useful for identification."

    Not inherently unsafe, just usually unsafe in practice.  Phillips once developed a tag called Hitag, which was encrypted in a way that, to my knowledge, was never broken.  However, they must have discontinued it, because I can't find a product page anywhere online, at least not through Google.

    Also, I once remember hearing an idea about using a RFID tag as a public key in a public/private key system, but I don't know where, if anywhere, they ended up going with that.

    "The second electronic implant I'd like to develop is something that
    would go in my upper arm and would monitor my blood oxygenation and my
    core temperature.  It would log these values throughout the day, and I
    could transmit them to my computer using a reader once a day or
    something like that."

    That's precisely the goal that Grindhouse has for its next product, the HELEDD.  In version 0.1, we plan to put sensors for core temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, and it can interact with a wireless device through Bluetooth.  Oxygenation sensors are another idea.
  • rdbrdb
    edited September 2012
    It doesn't sound feasible to me to use such a high frequency technology like bluetooth in an implant, so I'm curious as to how you've overcome the hurdles.  The modules are relatively big (certainly over a centimetre in width and height) and require large amounts of power- transmitting for a few minutes or having the antenna on for an hour would already completely drain an implant-sized LiPo battery.  Why have you chosen bluetooth over the obvious alternatives?

    Also, I'm really curious to hear how you're measuring blood pressure in an implant - that does sound like a huge breakthrough.

    EDIT: Oh, I'm reading on your website that your implant is bigger than a finger.  Never mind, that explains my questions.  Still curious how you plan on measuring blood pressure, though.
  • About the measuring thing:
    I guess you could have some sort of balloon and measure the compression of the gas, either via the tension (change in form) or via airflow.
    But make it real tight and little air as for safety!
  • For those with magnets: Do your implants affect your cell phone?
  • Could this ( be scaled down to implant size to power something small? Looks like it would be easy to charge, especially if you used finger magnets to move the internal magnet. Or should I make a new thread for that one...
  • Gaviato, I haven't noticed any effect on my cell phone.
  • @WalrusThief such systems have been discussed. but so far no reliable data on the power output exists. for the whole discussion see
  • edited September 2012
    In response to an earlier post, looking at the perceptual capabilities of the hand it make most sense to put the in the index and middle finger purely based on the receptor number in each of these :) I personally have mine in my left hand Index and middle :)


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