Smart Threads

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Smart Threads

“Smart thread” uses electrical currents to transmit information to doctors after surgery.

“Smart thread” uses electrical currents to transmit information to doctors after surgery.

Think of it as a sort of temporary system that connects to a smartphone or other medical device and can report on your glucose levels, diagnose an infection, and alert hospital staff if your body is chemically out of balance.

Researchers at Tufts University have embedded nano-scale sensors and electronics into surgical thread that can be used for suturing. Meantime, researchers at the University of California-Berkeley’s School of Information are experimenting with color-changing smart threads. These non-surgical threads are coated with thermochromic paint that changes color when jolted with electricity, and could be used as discreet components of visual alert systems, for example.

Smart thread is just coming out of experimentation, but initial test results show that it can be successfully used as a diagnostic device.