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SEOUL – A research team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has developed a method of transfer printing conductive nanomaterials of various shapes and sizes onto different substrate materials, suggesting the application technique could be adopted by smart textile manufacturers when integrating wireless devices.

The premise is based on the application of nano inks to a solidified hydrogel laid on a topographic surface. This, it’s claimed, enables the liquid elements of the ink to drain through the hydrogel’s porous structure, leaving only nanoparticles that can be manipulated to form a pattern of electrodes.

If scaled up, the application method would represent a cost-effective – due to the low quantities of material required – and flexible alternative to commonly used conductive wiring or thread integrated within fabric.

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