Liquid Metal Injections Could Help Treat Nerve Damage

Liquid Metal Injections Could Help Treat Nerve Damage

Biomedical engineers at Tsinghua University in Beihing are testing a nerve damage treatment that would include liquid metal injections.

Nerve damage isn't fun. In fact, if you find yourself in the unlucky spot of suffering peripheral nerve damage, the healing process on its own can leave your muscles atrophied to the point of permanent disability. We imagine we don't have to explain why science, in turn, has been looking for ways to keep that from happening. That being the case, the answer may have finally been found.

Chinese biomedical engineers working at the Tsinghua University in Beijing may have devised a way to keep muscles active by injecting a liquid metal alloy into the body to bridge the gap between healing nerves. The alloy in question (gallium-indium-selenium) was selected specially because its melting point was the rough equivalent of body temperature, a property that would keep it from solidifying in the human body.

While human trials have yet to occur, experiments conducted on bullfrog calf muscles showed that electric test pulses were able to pass between otherwise severed nerves when they were treated with the alloy. In other words, the nerves worked when equipped with an alloy bridge. These results have the developing researches understandably excited. "This new generation nerve connecting material is expected to be important for the functional recovery during regeneration of the injured peripheral nerve and the optimization of neurosurgery in the near future," they said.

That said, the process still has several of hurdles to jump. A succession of new animal tests is already being planned to help further test its effectiveness. And even then, the prospect of human trials raises some understandable questions and concerns about the potential side effects of injecting liquefied metal into a person's body. Granted, there's a part of us that's hopeful we'll all just wind up like Wolverine, but we can understand the need for caution.

Source: Technology Review

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"Science, bitch!" has never been more appropriate.

Seriously, this is the coolest thing I've head all month and they announced a cure for HCV this month!

Here's hoping it works out and can be used on humans or leads to something that can be beneficial for humans in some way. :)

(also science is cool)

Halyah:
Here's hoping it works out and can be used on humans or leads to something that can be beneficial for humans in some way. :)

(also science is cool)

Oh I can see it benefitting humans, in many ways we'd thought previously.

Gotta love science.

image

I couldn't read that article without thinking about people getting injected with Robert Patricks blood. I am genuinely scared of him, and Gary Busey (but for different reasons. Busey is downright batshit crazy).

Shadow-Phoenix:

Halyah:
Here's hoping it works out and can be used on humans or leads to something that can be beneficial for humans in some way. :)

(also science is cool)

Oh I can see it benefitting humans, in many ways we'd thought previously.

Gotta love science.

image

You know... I was wondering how long it would take for someone to get around to those references.

Oh this is fucking amazing. I've had extensive nerve damage when I broke my back so I'd jump on this in a flash. Gotta love medical science.

Science is finding a way to inject liquid metal into our bodies...

Is no one seriously going to make the reference?...

The one that everyone is thinking of...

Come on... I'm not going to be the one to do it!... You can't make me!...

...AMAGAWRD WOLVERINE!!!!!

I'll just provide the obligatory reference here

image

Liquid metal, liquid metal in very very much smaller scale... son!

 

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