Many people who suffer from joint pain use heat packs and special patches that keep the affected area warm. These can be heavy and often require frequent changes to keep the heat going.
A flexible wire mesh that can be wrapped around a joint to delivery heat continuously has been developed by researchers at the Institute for Basic Science in Seoul, South Korea.
The researchers used silver nanowires to build the mesh as the primary component. The silver nanowires in the mesh between layers is breathable thermoplastic elastomer. The elastomer and nanowires can contract and expand. The flexible mesh can fit to all joints whether it is the knee or wrist.
The nanowires are six times thinner than human air, measuring about 150 nm in diameter and 30 μm in length.
The heating machine powered by a small nearby battery maintains an even temperature. It is flexible and stays close to the skin during repeat contractions, delivering thermotherapy consistently as long as the battery provides power.