May 18, 2014

Scientists Reconnect Severed Nerves With Liquid Metal

Posted by in category: biotech/medical
Scientists Have Reconnected Severed Nerves with Liquid Metal

Get your T-1000 jokes ready, because we’re one step closer to liquid metal-powered people. As a team of Chinese biomedical engineers recently used an alloy to close the gap between severed sciatic nerves in frogs. In effect, it made electronic circuits out of nerves — and it worked.

Shockingly, this sci-fi solution is as simple as it sounds. Looking for a way to keep muscles active while nerves healed, the Tsinghua University researchers identified liquid metal as a highly conductive but also safe material to bridge the gap. They decided on the liquid metal alloy gallium-indium-selenium, a benign material that’s liquid at body temperature. (This liquid metal is not to be confused with the brand-name wonder material Liquidmetal, which is not actually a liquid.) The liquid metal alloy is also highly conductive.

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