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Conducting nanofabrics

Nicholas Kotov of the University of Michigan and his team have coated common cotton thread with carbon nanotubes and produced electronic textiles, also called smart fabrics. Cotton yarn is dipped in a polyelectrolyte solution containing carbon nanotubes and then dried. The nanotube coating makes the threads conductive to allow current when connected to a battery and can even power a LED. By suitably adding, say, protein-stabilizing electrolyte poly (sodium 4-styrene sulfonate) and adding the antibody for human serum albumin to the solution it can be used to detect blood stain by sensing the blood protein albumin. According to the researchers garment made with these threads could have military applications in detecting blood injury and even to monitor physiological functions of the body.

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