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Silver News: Bionic Eye Breakthrough and Other Technological Innovations

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A functioning bionic eye is closer to reality thanks to silver.

The Silver Institute highlighted this amazing medical breakthrough along with other technological innovations utilizing the white metal in the latest edition of Silver News

The challenge of making a functioning prosthetic eye has always been to layer light-sensitive materials onto an orb without the distortion inherent in placing two-dimensional objects — even thin ones like wires — onto a rounded surface. Using a custom-made 3D printer, the research team at the University of Minnesota took a base ink of silver particles and sprayed it on the glass surface. Instead of running down the curved surface like other materials, the silver ink stayed where it was applied and did not drip. They then used semiconducting polymer materials to print photodiodes, devices that convert light into electricity. Researchers say they hope to refine the process to make the conversion of light to electricity more efficient and eventually produce a fully functioning bionic eye.

The latest issue of Silver News also features some other fascinating technological developments using silver and other interesting news related to the white metal.

  • At a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, researchers reported that using silver nanoparticles can amplify the fungal killing power of certain wavelengths of light for treating fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, nail infections and ringworm.
  • Researchers from the Luis Guillermo Ibarra National Institute of Rehabilitation in Mexico City have developed a new therapy to treat second-degree burns that involves using silver particles to keep harmful bacteria at bay. The newly developed wound covering is composed of sterilized pigskin, stems cells and silver nanoparticles.
  • Currently, the best LED displays use the metal cadmium, which is highly toxic. One solution comes from Japanese researchers who have shown that a non-toxic version using silver indium disulfide coated in a shell consisting of gallium and sulfur may be the answer.
  • China will continue to be a major driver in the global silver market for the foreseeable future, fueled by continued industrial demand and silver mining activity, according to Prospects for the Chinese Silver Market, a report recently published by The Silver Institute.
  • A research team from Russia, Australia and Japan has developed a catalyst composed of boron nitrate nanoparticles and silver that can break down methanol into harmless carbon dioxide and water. Methanol is a toxic byproduct in the chemical and gas industry, and as an additive to fuel cells to produce biodiesel.

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