Tech Review: Materials

November 12, 2014

The Ximedica Technology Forum: A collective enterprise to share, disseminate and discuss new technologies, gadgets and innovations that have recently come into the public domain.

As the world of health care continues to evolve, innovations in nonwoven materials are offering major solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had. Ranging from sensor laden-films to liquid battery components, the innovations coming out of colleges and universities around the world are providing endless opportunity for medical devices.

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Electronic skin by University of Nebraska

Development Phase: Seeking Funding

Placed on a woman’s breast, this film can successfully detect tumors as small as 5mm, hidden up to 20 mm deep. The material is easy to manufacture and offers an immediate, image-based result that can be saved and viewed digitally, giving clinicians a collection of trending images that can show changes over time. Manual breast exams offer no visual record, while ultrasounds are pricey and require a nail-biting wait for results, so this easy-to-manufacture technology could potentially save lives, time, and money.

As Seen in: New Kerala

Transition Metal Di-Chalcogenides Film by Uni of Southhampton

Development Phase: Academic Lab

Metallic film of Molybdenum di-sulphide (MoS2), a mixture of molybdenum and sulphur, is a 1/10 the diameter of human hair with coverage of 1,000 sq millimeters. This film, made using a chemical vapor deposition process, has mechanical strength, electrical conductivity, can emit light and be applied to any substrate – expanding promise of nanoelectronic and optoelectronic applications.

As seen in: Gizmag

All Liquid Battery by MIT

Development Phase: Academic Lab

By exchanging the electrode materials in a liquid battery (one made from lithium, other from lead and antimony material), the operating temperature of battery is reduced by 200-250° degrees. After 10 year study of daily charging/discharging of energy, battery maintains 85% of its original efficiency. Lower operating temperature has potential for easier design, longer life and reduced cost of electrical grid scale batteries used to store renewable energy.

As seen in: Gizmag

X by University of Toronto

Development phase: Animal Testing

Flexible, skin-like 3D printed material survives grafting is made using new kind of printer cartridge that contains tiny channels filled with epidermal and dermal skin cells and a liquid environment. Skin layers are dispensed during printing as a liquid that solidifies into a gel. Gel layers are printed one on top of the other to generate a biodegradable dressing.

As seen in: PSFK

Liquid crystal substrate by Northwestern University

Development Phase: Academic Lab

Device (5 cm square substrate with 3,500 liquid crystals) senses heat on skin and changes color. It could be used to determine blood flow rate, signaling cardiovascular heart trouble or low skin hydration levels.

As seen in: Futurity