Medicine, soft robotics and wearable electronics are just a few of the fields that could benefit from a new hydrogel that’s applied to the body. The transparent material can sense when it’s being touched, bent, heated, or otherwise manipulated.
Bone marrow transplants are a common treatment for certain conditions related to the blood, but the patient’s immune system can often react badly to the foreign cells and attack them. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) may help, but they too can be cleared out by immune cells. Now, a Harvard team has shown that coating MSCs in a thin hydrogel can protect them, making bone marrow transplants more successful.