Nerves of Gold: New Potential for Regenerative Medicine

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gold circuit traces in fractal patterning

This image, submitted by Jonathan Tsosie of the Koch Institute, shows gold circuit traces on a flexible biocompatible polymer.

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gold circuit traces in fractal patterning

Jonathan K. Tsosie, Omar F. Khan, Daniel G. Anderson, Robert S. Langer
Koch Institute at MIT

The circuitous path of gold in this image may seem random, but it is actually a fractal pattern designed to improve the elasticity of hard-metal components used in restorative bionics. When implanted in the body after neural separation, this stretchable device stands in for the nervous system to provide electronic stimulation to muscles, promoting contraction and preventing atrophy. 

In addition to keeping muscles active while nerves regenerate, this biocompatible circuit board will collect data about the repair process, increasing capacity for both treatment and understanding.

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Jonathan Tsosie shares the story behind his award-winning image.