29 Apr '14, 12pm

Liquid Metal Reconnects Severed Nerves in Frogs

Liquid Metal Reconnects Severed Nerves in Frogs

Severed nerves in the body can lead to the loss of muscle function and muscle atrophy, unless the severed nerve endings get reconnected. One possible new solution devised by Chinese researchers uses liquid metal to create an electrical conduit capable of transmitting signals between the severed nerve ends. The liquid metal solution consists of a gallium-indium-tin (GaInSn) alloy that has successfully bridged severed sciatic nerves taken from the calf muscles of bullfrogs, according to Technology Review . A team at Tsinghua University in Beijing showed that the metal alloy—capable of remaining liquid at body temperature and thought to be benign—could transmit nerve signals much more effectively than the commonly-used Ringer's solution meant to mimic the salt mixture in body fluids. Such a solution could keep the affected muscles active by continuing to transmit nerve signal...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/bionics/liq...

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