Not all wearables wrap around a wrist, or even are attached anywhere to the outside of your body. In 2016 Alfred Poor wrote on this site about researchers at Arizona State University that created an edible supercapacitor that could deliver energy to a swallowed device before completing the journey through the body. In a 2017 article, Alfred covered edible and digestible robots made of gelatin by scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL).

Researchers at the LIT Soft Materials Lab at the JKU (Johannes Kepler University, Linz) have developed an electronic material made of gelatin and other edible ingredients that is elastic, flexible, bendable, and stable. The JKU scientists published an article in Nature Materials that describes the material as the first such material that has the necessary mechanical properties, is tunable, modifiable, and durable. Plus, the biogel self-adheres, can heal rapidly, is scalable, and easy to reproduce at low cost, all made from natural, food-safe components.

Engineers could use the new material to create electronic sensors and other devices that attach to the skin or are implanted inside the body without harm. Potential non-medical applications could include safe children’s’ toys, medical rehab equipment, and prosthetics. Work continues at JKU to develop production methods that could create material with even greater resilience.