Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 27

Novel Alkaline Hydrogel
Could Promote Skin
Wound Healing
Organic hydrogels promote wound healing
by helping skin cells regrow
Alginate hydrogel
Provides
moisture
Absorbs wound
exudates
5 minutes preparation time
After a week in saline solution:
Keratinocytes
Fibroblasts
Retained shape
Alkaline environment is suitable for skin
cell survival and proliferation
But developing alkaline hydrogels
has been challenging
This novel alkaline hydrogel shows immense potential for
application in the care of difficult wounds such as surgical wounds,
burn injuries, and skin wounds in the elderly
Preparation and evaluation of physicochemical properties of novel
alkaline calcium alginate hydrogels with carbonated water
Teshima et al. (2020) Polymers for Advanced Technologies DOI:10.1002/pat.5027
Preparation and evaluation of physiochemical properties of novel alkaline calcium alginate hydrogels
with carbonated water. (Image: Teshima et al.)
has found that a slightly alkaline pH (88.5)
is better for promoting the growth
of skin-healing cells such as fibroblasts
and keratinocytes.
The scientists prepared a novel alkaline
alginate hydrogel (pH 8.38-8.57)
suitable for wound healing via a
method that requires no special equipLiquid
Metal Lattice
The new metal lattice material can be used to create models that regain shape after
being crushed.
Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York
esearchers have created a liquid
metal lattice made from Field's alloy,
a mix of bismuth, indium, and tin. The
alloy becomes liquid at the relatively low
melting point of 62 °C (144 °F).
Field's alloy is currently used as a liquidmetal
coolant in nuclear engineering,
among other applications. The re -
searchers combined the metal lattice
material with a rubber shell through a
hybrid manufacturing process that integrates
3D printing, vacuum casting, and
conformal coating (used on electronic circuitry
to protect against moisture, dust,
chemicals and temperature ex tremes).
The shell skeleton controls the overall
shape and integrity, so the liquid metal
itself can be confined in the channels.
The team made a series of prototypes
that regain their shapes after being
heated to the melting point including
mesh antennas, honeycombs, soccer
balls, and a hand that slowly opens as
the metal lattice melts. When the liquid
R
metal is in a solid state, it is very safe and
strong; it absorbs a lot of energy when
crushed. Then, after some heating and
cooling, it returns to its original shape
and can be reused.
Satellite designers could pack an an -
tenna into a small package and then un -
fold it when in orbit. A spacecraft, for
example, may crash if it lands on the
Moon or Mars with some kind of impact.
Normally, aluminum or steel are used to
produce the cushion structures but after
landing on the Moon, the metal absorbs
the energy and deforms so it can only be
used once. Using Field's alloy, it can be
crashed into like other metals but then
heated up later to recover its shape,
enabling multiple uses.
The team is exploring how to build on
this metal lattice research including different
structure
types and improved
coating materials.
For more information, contact Ryan Yarosh
at ryarosh@binghamton.edu; 607-777-2180.
Tech Briefs, July 2021
Cov
www.techbriefs.com
ToC
A new liquid metal lattice material was used to
create prototypes that return to their shapes
when crushed including a hand that moved
when heated up.
27
ment and can be carried out at room
temperature. This, in addition to the
fact that the hydrogel forms in five minutes,
makes it ideal for potential use in
any
medical
practice
for
superior
wound healing. The method involves
mixing calcium carbonate and potassium
alginate and then adding carbonatShowed
ability to
absorb exudates
No specialized equipment
Allows visual assessment
Novel method prepares alkaline alginate hydrogel
Calcium carbonate +
Potassium alginate
Slightly alkaline
hydrogel with
extremely high
water content
Carbonated water
Acidic
Water content
pH Alkaline
8.38-8.57
99%
ed water to this mixture and letting the
gelation (gel formation) process take
place. In this method, the pH of the gel
shifts to alkaline because the carbon
dioxide volatilizes after gelation. This
also ensures transparency of the gel,
which in turn allows the visual assessment
of wounds and helps in easily
ascertaining the progress of healing.
Also, regardless of the amounts of
ingredients used, the resultant hydrogels
have extremely high water content
- up to 99%.
When the team placed the hydrogel
in physiological saline solution, it
passed the test for another critical requisite
for a wound dressing: the potential
to absorb exudates from the wound.
And while the hydrogel did become
structurally weak and could not be lifted
with tweezers after a week of immersion,
it retained its shape. In the future,
if it is possible to control the sustained
release of an effective drug held inside
it, the hydrogel can be used as a drug
carrier as well.
For more information, contact the Tokyo
University of Science Public Relations
Division at mediaoffice@admin.tus.ac.jp.
http://www.techbriefs.com http://www.abpi.net/ntbpdfclicks/l.php?202107TBNAV

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - 3
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov3
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2021 - Cov4
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