Biomedicine

Mechanical tissue matching

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Science  22 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6468, pp. 967-968
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6468.967-b

Implantable electronic devices that can precisely detect metabolites and biomarkers of disease in real time are an exciting prospect. However, ensuring that such devices stably interact with human tissue without causing damage is difficult because the devices need to bend and adapt to the motions of the body. To overcome this impediment, Wang et al. developed an implantable electrochemical sensor composed of flexible helical bundles of carbon nanotubes that mimic the fibril structure of muscle. When injected into target tissues in cats, the bundles formed a stable interface with the tissue and could detect and transmit chemical concentrations in real time through Bluetooth. Matching the mechanical properties of tissue should thus allow implantable devices to be used long-term in humans.

Nat. Biomed. Eng. 10.1038/s41551-019-0462-8 (2019).

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