A group of Korean scientists has developed a new type elastic and bio-compatible material that could be utilized in the research and production of future bioelectronics, a state-run institute said Tuesday.
The Institute for Basic Science said it has succeeded in developing the highly stretchable nanowire composite that measures physiological signals, such as information on muscle and cardiac dysfunction.
Researchers used this new device on human skin to record the electrical activity of the heart and muscles and on flexible joints, including wrists, the IBS said.
Being the first soft implant able to record the cardiac activity in multiple points of a pig heart, this prototype could contribute to future research and the production of next-generation soft bioelectronics that may have far ranging applications.
"Although various soft cardiac devices have been reported to work on the heart of mice, this study on pigs can approximate human physiology more accurately," said IBS researcher Choi Su-ji. "We aim to study heart diseases and stimulate the heart more effectively by synchronizing cardiac pumping activity."
The institute added that the stretchable and conductive patch is created by gold-coated silver nanowires mixed with a type of rubber, called polystyrene-butadiene-styrene.
"We took advantage of silver's high conductivity, SBS' stretchability, and gold's high bio-compatibility," said Hyeon Taeg-hwan, another scientist who took part in the development.
"Finding the right proportion of each material was the key to success."
The research has been published in the latest edition of "Nature Nanotechnology." (Yonhap)