Chopping Carbon Nanotube Yarn with an Axe (Part 2!)

Tyson took a trip to the Class Axe Throwing range in Dallas, TX recently, so it seemed like the perfect time to make a follow-up to the recent video in which we demonstrated our carbon nanotube yarn surviving an axe blow. In this new video, we see how well some of our yarns and films survive when an axe is thrown at them!

A big thank you to the folks at Class Axe Throwing for letting us perform this fun test at their range, and for helping us out with some of the throwing!

Rice University and Texas Heart Institute: Damaged Hearts Rewired with Nanotube Fibers

Today we want to share the following press release from Rice University in order to shine a spotlight on a newly-published paper about an exciting medical application of carbon nanotube fibers! This work was done by a collection of researchers at Rice University and the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Città della Speranza Pediatric Research Institute in Padua, Italy. Rice alumnus Colin Young, one of the co-authors on the paper, is currently a member of the DexMat team!

Damaged hearts rewired with nanotube fibers

Texas Heart doctors confirm Rice-made, conductive carbon threads are electrical bridges

HOUSTON – (Aug. 13, 2019) – Thin, flexible fibers made of carbon nanotubes have now proven able to bridge damaged heart tissues and deliver the electrical signals needed to keep those hearts beating.

Scientists at Texas Heart Institute (THI) report they have used biocompatible fibers invented at Rice University in studies that showed sewing them directly into damaged tissue can restore electrical function to hearts.
Rice University Professor Matteo Pasquali, left, and Dr. Mehdi Razavi of the Texas Heart Institute check a thread of carbon nanotube fiber invented in Pasquali's Rice lab. They are collaborating on a method to use the fibers as electrical bridges to restore conductivity to damaged hearts. (Credit: Texas Heart Institute)

Rice Professor Matteo Pasquali, left, and Dr. Mehdi Razavi of the Texas Heart Institute check a thread of carbon nanotube fiber invented in Pasquali’s Rice lab. They are collaborating on a method to use the fibers as electrical bridges to restore conductivity to damaged hearts. Courtesy of the Texas Heart Institute

“Instead of shocking and defibrillating, we are actually correcting diseased conduction of the largest major pumping chamber of the heart by creating a bridge to bypass and conduct over a scarred area of a damaged heart,” said Dr. Mehdi Razavi, a cardiologist and director of Electrophysiology Clinical Research and Innovations at THI, who co-led the study with Rice chemical and biomolecular engineer Matteo Pasquali.

“Today there is no technology that treats the underlying cause of the No. 1 cause of sudden death, ventricular arrhythmias,” Razavi said. “These arrhythmias are caused by the disorganized firing of impulses from the heart’s lower chambers and are challenging to treat in patients after a heart attack or with scarred heart tissue due to such other conditions as congestive heart failure or dilated cardiomyopathy.”

Results of the studies on preclinical models appear as an open-access Editor’s Pick in the American Heart Association’s Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. The association helped fund the research with a 2015 grant.

The research springs from the pioneering 2013 invention by Pasquali’s lab of a method to make conductive fibers out of carbon nanotubes. The lab’s first threadlike fibers were a quarter of the width of a human hair, but contained tens of millions of microscopic nanotubes. The fibers are also being studied for electrical interfaces with the brain, for use in cochlear implants, as flexible antennas and for automotive and aerospace applications.

The experiments showed the nontoxic, polymer-coated fibers, with their ends stripped to serve as electrodes, were effective in restoring function during monthlong tests in large preclinical models as well as rodents, whether the initial conduction was slowed, severed or blocked, according to the researchers. The fibers served their purpose with or without the presence of a pacemaker, they found.
(Credit: James Philpot/Texas Heart Institute)

Illustration by James Philpot/Texas Heart Institute

In the rodents, they wrote, conduction disappeared when the fibers were removed.

“The reestablishment of cardiac conduction with carbon nanotube fibers has the potential to revolutionize therapy for cardiac electrical disturbances, one of the most common causes of death in the United States,” said co-lead author Mark McCauley, who carried out many of the experiments as a postdoctoral fellow at THI. He is now an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

“Our experiments provided the first scientific support for using a synthetic material-based treatment rather than a drug to treat the leading cause of sudden death in the U.S. and many developing countries around the world,” Razavi added.

Many questions remain before the procedure can move toward human testing, Pasquali said. The researchers must establish a way to sew the fibers in place using a minimally invasive catheter, and make sure the fibers are strong and flexible enough to serve a constantly beating heart over the long term. He said they must also determine how long and wide fibers should be, precisely how much electricity they need to carry and how they would perform in the growing hearts of young patients.
Researchers at Texas Heart Institute and Rice University have confirmed that flexible, conductive fibers made of carbon nanotubes can bridge damaged tissue to deliver electrical signals and keep hearts beating despite congestive heart failure or dilated cardiomyopathy or after a heart attack. (Credit: Texas Heart Institute)

Researchers at Texas Heart Institute and Rice University have confirmed that flexible, conductive fibers made of carbon nanotubes can bridge damaged tissue to deliver electrical signals and keep hearts beating despite congestive heart failure or dilated cardiomyopathy or after a heart attack. Courtesy of the Texas Heart Institute

“Flexibility is important because the heart is continuously pulsating and moving, so anything that’s attached to the heart’s surface is going to be deformed and flexed,” said Pasquali, who has appointments at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering and Wiess School of Natural Sciences.

“Good interfacial contact is also critical to pick up and deliver the electrical signal,” he said. “In the past, multiple materials had to be combined to attain both electrical conductivity and effective contacts. These fibers have both properties built in by design, which greatly simplifies device construction and lowers risks of long-term failure due to delamination of multiple layers or coatings.”

Razavi noted that while there are many effective antiarrhythmic drugs available, they are often contraindicated in patients after a heart attack. “What is really needed therapeutically is to increase conduction,” he said. “Carbon nanotube fibers have the conductive properties of metal but are flexible enough to allow us to navigate and deliver energy to a very specific area of a delicate, damaged heart.”

Rice alumna Flavia Vitale, now an assistant professor of neurology and of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania, and Stephen Yan, a graduate student at Rice, are co-lead authors of the paper.

Co-authors are Colin Young and Julia Coco of Rice; Brian Greet of THI and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center; Marco Orecchioni and Lucia Delogu of the Città della Speranza Pediatric Research Institute, Padua, Italy; Abdelmotagaly Elgalad, Mathews John, Doris Taylor and Luiz Sampaio, all of THI; and Srikanth Perike of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Pasquali is the A.J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry.

The American Heart Association, the Welch Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Institutes of Health and Louis Magne supported the research.

Read the paper at https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCEP.119.007256

This news release can also be found online at https://www.texasheart.org/news/ and https://news.rice.edu/2019/05/29/damaged-hearts-rewired-with-nanotube-fibers/

 

Source: Rice University News & Media

Carbon Nanotube AUX Cable

In this video, we demonstrate an auxiliary cable made with carbon nanotube (CNT) conductors and shielding. The cable has two CNT yarn conductors that are insulated with a nylon braid and then shielded with a CNT fiber braid. The sound quality is great and highlights the tremendous potential for CNT materials in high-end audio cables!

Wearable Electronics: Carbon Nanotube Yarn + LEDs

This is the follow-up to our previous video, in which we demonstrated how our carbon nanotube yarn could be stitched into fabric using a conventional sewing machine. Here we are showing off the finished product: a DexMat t-shirt with blinking LEDs embedded into our lightning bolt logo!

We used an Arduino Gemma and a small battery pack (sewn into a pouch near the hem of the shirt) to create this LED effect. The electrical connections between the Arduino and the LEDs consist of 4 lengths of our high strength 130 micron carbon nanotube yarn. As Tyson demonstrates, this yarn can easily bend and fold with the shirt, and the zig-zag stitch allows it to stretch as well. It’s also extremely light and comfortable!

Check out the first part of this project here.

High strength 130 micron CNT yarn spotlight

In this video we focus on one of our newly available products, a higher strength version of our 130 micron diameter carbon nanotube yarn.

DexMat at Interwire 2019

DexMat is at the Interwire 2019 expo in Atlanta, GA, to talk about our carbon nanotube yarns and films. If you are in the area from May 14 – May 16, come by booth 154 and say hello!

New High Strength Yarn Product Release

In this video we introduce a high strength grade of 200 micron diameter CNT yarn to the catalog of DexMat yarn products! The high strength yarn has a breaking force of well over 3 kg and is about 50 % stronger than its predecessor. The tensile strength of this yarn is 1 GPa, and it is also very lightweight and highly flexible. Our high strength yarn is now available for purchase at the DexMat online store.

Happy Pi Day!

Here we show off the difference between Pi grams of copper wire and Pi grams of our carbon nanotube yarn.

Full disclosure: some of the difference in length here is due to the carbon nanotube yarn being thinner. The copper wire in this video is 1.2 mm in diameter; the carbon nanotube yarn ranged from 0.7 mm to 1 mm in diameter. The length difference is so extreme, however, because of the difference in density between the two materials, which is close to a factor of 9.

Happy Pi Day!

Plating Carbon Nanotube Yarn with Copper

In this video we provide a brief look at some of the experimental work we are doing to develop new products at DexMat. Here, we are using an electroplating process to coat our carbon nanotube yarn with a layer of copper. This process may allow us to create a useful hybrid material, combining the conductivity of metallic copper with the strength and durability of our lightweight carbon nanotube yarn.

Braiding CNT Fibers

In this video, we demonstrate the process that we use for braiding carbon nanotube fibers to make EMI shielding braids or braided CNT yarns. These braids are lightweight and highly flexible. They are also more conductive than stainless steel fiber braids and much stronger than copper wire.