Degradation Study of Thin-Film Silicon Structures in a Cell Culture Medium

Huachun Wang, Jingjing Tian, Bingwei Lu, Yang Xie, Pengcheng Sun, Lan Yin, Yuguang Wang, Xing Sheng
2022 Sensors  
Thin-film silicon (Si)-based transient electronics represents an emerging technology that enables spontaneous dissolution, absorption and, finally, physical disappearance in a controlled manner under physiological conditions, and has attracted increasing attention in pertinent clinical applications such as biomedical implants for on-body sensing, disease diagnostics, and therapeutics. The degradation behavior of thin-film Si materials and devices is critically dependent on the device structure
more » ... s well as the environment. In this work, we experimentally investigated the dissolution of planar Si thin films and micropatterned Si pillar arrays in a cell culture medium, and systematically analyzed the evolution of their topographical, physical, and chemical properties during the hydrolysis. We discovered that the cell culture medium significantly accelerates the degradation process, and Si pillar arrays present more prominent degradation effects by creating rougher surfaces, complicating surface states, and decreasing the electrochemical impedance. Additionally, the dissolution process leads to greatly reduced mechanical strength. Finally, in vitro cell culture studies demonstrate desirable biocompatibility of corroded Si pillars. The results provide a guideline for the use of thin-film Si materials and devices as transient implants in biomedicine.
doi:10.3390/s22030802 pmid:35161547 pmcid:PMC8838160 fatcat:baj6wgjsiffcno7iwtyeztzxwm