297w ago - Normally fragile and brittle silicon chips have been made to bend and fold, paving the way for a new generation of flexible electronic devices.
The stretchy circuits could be used to build advanced brain implants, health monitors or smart clothing.
The complex devices consist of concertina-like folds of ultra-thin silicon bonded to sheets of rubber.
Writing in the journal Science, the US researchers say the chip's performance is similar to conventional electronics.
"Silicon microelectronics has been a spectacularly successful technology that has touched virtually every part of our lives," said Professor John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the authors of the paper.
But, he said, the rigid and fragile nature of silicon made it very unattractive for many applications, such as biomedical implants.
"In many cases you'd like to integrate electronics conformably in a variety of ways in the human body - but the human body does not have the shape of a silicon wafer."
Professor Zhenqiang Ma of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who also works on flexible silicon circuitry, said the new research was an "important step".
"Completely integrated, extremely bendable circuits have been talked about for...