If you’ve never heard of carbon nanotubes before, don’t worry, they’re not a household name. However, they are known in the scientific and medical communities for their incredible properties that include mechanical strength and excellent thermal and electrical conductivity. Here are some of the amazing inventions that carbon tubes are responsible for thus far:
- Computer chips that are twice as fast as silicon ones;
- The toughest fiber is ever known to man;
- And the blackest material ever, known as Vantablack.
All in all, these carbon nanotubes are nifty little things that helped created some of the best pieces of technology that the world currently possesses. However, recent medical discoveries might indicate that they could also be used to treat spinal injuries. Keep reading to find out more.
Carbon Nanotubes as Neuronal Prostheses
We all know what a prosthesis is, but can you imagine such a thing existing for your neurons? It would have to be really small, long and thin in order to work. Well, that’s exactly how carbon nanotubes are, and research in this field uncovered that they could potentially be used in order to reconnect neurons. Reconnecting neurons can help rebuild valuable connections that have been damaged in accidents. In fact, carbon nanotubes can even be used in order to treat an injured spine.
Until now, injuring your spine meant you had little to no chance of ever regaining your motor functions ever again. But with such carbon nanotubes prostheses for your neurons, the damaged links between them might be rebuilt, which means that your nervous tissue can regenerate.
There are certain safety concerns surrounding these carbon nanotubes, and in the past they have been classified as being as dangerous as asbestos. But the research in this direction has now proved that there is a way for them to be used safely by the medical community, so the future looks bright.