Millions of people around the world treat joint paint using a heat packs and special patches that keep the affected area warm. These can be weighty, hard to keep on, and often require frequent changes to keep the heat going. Researchers at Institute for Basic Science in Seoul, South Korea have developed a flexible wire mesh that can be wrapped around a joint to deliver heat continuously.
The researchers focused on using relatively cheap ingredients to build their mesh, choosing silver nanowires instead of gold or carbon nanotubes as the primary component. The silver wires were covered with a liquid elastic material, the concoction then molded into a specific shape with a resulting mesh encapsulated by the elastomer. The result was then squeezed between a thin insulator producing the final product that is both conductive, flexible, and safe.
The heating mesh can maintain an even temperature, powered by a small nearby battery that eliminates the need for external wires and a power outlet. It remains flexible and stays close to the skin during repeat contractions, delivering thermotherapy consistently and predictably as long as the battery provides the power.
(hat tip: Engadget)