Scientists Are Using Red Wine to Make Wearables. Wait, What?

Tannic acid extracted from red wine is helping a team at University of Manchester create more durable and flexible wearable devices.

Red Wine / Image: Public Domain
Red Wine / Image: Public Domain

A recent article discussed an innovative new technique for creating wearable medical devices that was inspired by adult beverages. Scientists at University of Manchester are creating flexible fibers and adding acids from red wine to make them more durable. Previous generations of wearables often failed after repeated bending and folding as they took on tiny micro cracks that interrupted conductivity. Adding tannic acid to materials such as cotton improved the mechanical properties and increased the device’s lifespan.

Though the team used commercially available tannins, they also dipped the fabric directly into red wine and experienced the same result of improved performance after bending, folding and stretching.

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