Medical

Silver mesh lets users "wrap heat" around body parts

Silver mesh lets users "wrap h...
The heat-emitting mesh in action
The heat-emitting mesh in action
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The heat-emitting mesh in action
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The heat-emitting mesh in action
The mesh in a relaxed state (left) and stretched over a curve to 100 percent (right)
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The mesh in a relaxed state (left) and stretched over a curve to 100 percent (right)

In order to treat injured joints, patients are often advised to apply heat. This typically takes the form of a hot water bottle or microwavable hot pack (which are cumbersome and cool off) or a heating pad (which needs to be plugged in). Now, however, scientists from Korea and the US have created a battery-powered thin mesh that applies heat and stays put.

The mesh consists of interlocking coiled silver nanowires, which are sandwiched between two insulating yet breathable layers of a transparent thermoplastic elastomer. Both the wires and the elastomer are able to expand and contract, conforming to the contours of joints such as knees and wrists. Cuffs made from the mesh remain in place and continue to emit heat, even when those joints are moving.

The mesh in a relaxed state (left) and stretched over a curve to 100 percent (right)
The mesh in a relaxed state (left) and stretched over a curve to 100 percent (right)

According to the scientists, although similar devices have been created previously, they tended to incorporate complex production processes or costly materials such as carbon nanotubes and gold. By contrast, this mesh should be comparatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture.

Along with its use in rehabilitative therapy, it has been suggested that the technology could also find use in applications such as ski jackets or heated car seats.

The research team included scientists from Korea's Institute for Basic Science, Seoul National University and Pusan National University, along with Harvard University in the US.

Source: Institute for Basic Science

In order to treat injured joints, patients are often advised to apply heat. This typically takes the form of a hot water bottle or microwavable hot pack (which are cumbersome and cool off) or a heating pad (which needs to be plugged in). Now, however, scientists from Korea and the US have created a battery-powered thin mesh that applies heat and stays put.

The mesh consists of interlocking coiled silver nanowires, which are sandwiched between two insulating yet breathable layers of a transparent thermoplastic elastomer. Both the wires and the elastomer are able to expand and contract, conforming to the contours of joints such as knees and wrists. Cuffs made from the mesh remain in place and continue to emit heat, even when those joints are moving.

The mesh in a relaxed state (left) and stretched over a curve to 100 percent (right)
The mesh in a relaxed state (left) and stretched over a curve to 100 percent (right)

According to the scientists, although similar devices have been created previously, they tended to incorporate complex production processes or costly materials such as carbon nanotubes and gold. By contrast, this mesh should be comparatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture.

Along with its use in rehabilitative therapy, it has been suggested that the technology could also find use in applications such as ski jackets or heated car seats.

The research team included scientists from Korea's Institute for Basic Science, Seoul National University and Pusan National University, along with Harvard University in the US.

Source: Institute for Basic Science

5 comments
Gavin Roe
hasn't it been found that silver has good antibacterial properties but prolonged exposure to silver kills healthy cells.
Derek Howe
They should make some thin gloves with this tech.
These days companies are making heated boots and heated coats...WTH for?
You can always buy clothing with more insulation, but you hands are the one place on your body where if you are wearing too much insulation, your dexterity goes out the window.
Thin heated gloves...that's what everyone truly wants.
Grunchy
If you were wearing one of these during another "Super Flare" such as in 1859, is it possible it could pick up enough induced current to self-power, maybe even burn?
SarreqTeryx
oh, I so need this during the winter. I have a shoulder issue which only calms down with heat, and heating pads don't really stay in place too well.
unklmurray
These would be really nice on my feet and hands , as my diabetes makes my feet cold most of the time....no I don't like 2 wear my Muk-A-Lucs...insulated boots to bed.....Yes my down filled booties help but even with thick insulation if there is no heat the thickest insulation will do you no good!!