Forget Necklaces and Rings. This Gold Goes Inside Your Head
Don't call it a fashion statement.
Engineers are working on a way to combine tiny, tiny pieces of gold, called nanoparticles, with an elastic polymer to create a stretchable, conductive material. Yes, it's shiny and playfully stretchy, but the intention is to improve your health.
The idea -- in language even non-geeks can comprehend -- is that most metal compounds lose their ability to conduct electricity when stretched out. But when gold particles are mixed with elastic polymers, it "self-organizes" into chains, making the material conducive when expanded or contracted, according to a report in Wired.
"It looks like elastic gold," Nicholas Kotov, a chemical engineer at the University of Michigan, told Wired. "But we can stretch it just like a rubber band."
Gold has had other uses in technology for years but the application seems pretty cool. A material that's stretchy and has the ability to transport electrons no matter its state can conceivably have a number of applications throughout medicine and beyond -- as long as the materials won't be rejected and can mold to the various surfaces and movements of the body.
Just don't try to pawn off your gold-infused electrodes or pacemakers for a quick buck. We don't think Les Gold from Hardcore Pawn would be impressed.
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