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March 16th, 2007
Nanowires in the blood could feel the pressure
Nanowires that produce a current during bending could one day be implanted into the body to monitor changes in blood pressure, researchers claim.
Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, US, took advantage of the piezoelectric effect in semiconducting zinc oxide nanowires to create a new class of components. They can detect forces as small as a few piconewtons (10-12 N), roughly the force required to "unzip" a strand of DNA.
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