VivoKey Apex update

Those are some significant issues. If I’m getting this all right, the implants can grow out if the skin isn’t sealed around the object or it being solidly anchored in some way. Infection happens by ‘stuff’ building up and not being able to be washed away from an opening in the skin (ie not completely sealed). And transdermals/microdermals can be painful/ripped out by catching on stuff.

I’m probably way off base, but off the top of my head something like graphene could theoretically be integrated by the body and treated like natural tissue. This could solve the issues at the cellular level of creating a theoretical ‘perfect seal’ around the implant. If there’s a perfect seal then gunk and cells can’t build up - they could be washed away in the shower. This would be easier if the surface of the implant was smooth or typically had some sort of cover to prevent ingress into a socket (magnetic coupling ala Volta cables.

The implants could be anchored either to internal structures like bone or cartilage, or perhaps have a design similar to drywall anchors to prevent growing out. I don’t know if this would work or not, but I’m just spitballing.

And with regards to bumping on things and it being painful - to a certain extent that’s life. I’m sure we’ve all stubbed our toes or jammed our fingers in doors or drawers. It’s painful and we learn to be more careful and have better self-awareness. This could be theoretically improved by having some level of sensation on the implant (especially if it’s extruding from the body a lot), or if the implant is effectively flush with the skin (like in the Cyberpunk screenshot I shared) then the chances of bumping against anything is relatively minimal. Yes, something like the iron mohawk would be a problem, but I’m thinking of more functional than aesthetic implants here.

So in summation we need some anchoring structure like osseointegration, a chemical structure that the body tries to integrate such as graphene, and a functional design that is as close to flush with the skin as possible to minimise accidental bumps and knocks. This is all theoretical of course, but it’s fun to think about and imagine.
~ Jamie


I think you got it all right, yes - and I think your ideas on how to solve those problems are really interesting!

True - this would solve the biggest problem. I have no idea on how graphene works, but it would be importat that it bonds to titanium (or whatever material the implant itself is made of) as well as to skin - it has to connect the skin to the implant itself. I think once you can eliminate the “permanent open hole in the skin”-problem, growing out won’t be so much of an issue any more. At least the risk of growing out will be significantly less once you can prevent irritation and infection.

Yes, absolutely! You can’t really eliminate that (except for using as flat designs as possible, like you proposed), and I just listed that “problem” because it just happens from time to time, and even if you don’t tear the implant out, it’s always some sort of irritation that promotes infections or growing out. Stuff like the iron mohawk is obviously more prone to catching on it, but even current microdermals with very flat heads are sometimes just… in the way. You definitely learn to pay attention to that after a while, but I guess that’s just the remaining risk :woman_shrugging:

I thought about that, and I have a question that others with more knowledge about osseointegration might be able to answer…
It might work well in spots where skin and bones are very close to each other, like teeth or maybe the skull - but if you try to anchor a transdermal implant to the bone of your arm, wouldn’t skin tear if you move it? I can easily move my skin at least 1-2 cm in relation to the bone underneath it…

And it might lead to things being tried out, being developed and becoming working, practical ideas :wink:


Graphene is that wonder material that’s always talked about in material science.
It’s made of pure carbon (so producing it would reduce CO2 in the atmosphere).
It’s a monolayer molecular structure (ie it’s 1-atom thick sheets of carbon) so it can either be an incredible insulator or incredible conductor depending on how it’s arranged. I believe it’s “magic-angle” graphene that’s a superconductor.
Because it’s just carbon the body in theory wouldn’t reject it, but because it’s so difficult to produce that’s not been studied much yet, but it should be completely biocompatible. It should create a ‘perfect’ seal with the skin.
Its strength is absolutely bonkers, something like 200x as strong as steel - essentially the strongest material we know of. But mechanical engineers would be quick to point out that strength, toughness, hardness are all different properties.
However, the problem with it right now is that it’s so difficult to produce, and therefore expensive and impractical for most consumer applications. It’s mostly just found in research labs and universities.
Here’s a brief article summarising some of the important bits.
If we could mass-produce it and it was everything it is promised to be, then it would replace so many materials that we use right now like gold, copper, silicon, aluminium, titanium (in the case of implants). There’s probably whole industries that will exist because of it’s properties and uses. In Cyberpunk 2077 there are characters that have entirely replaced their skin with artificial materials, usually shiny metallic materials. That might actually be possible with something like graphene.

That’s an excellent point, and something I’d not thought of. I checked the article I linked before and some others, and graphene actually has great elasticity (another fancy material engineering term).
“Harder than diamond yet more elastic than rubber; tougher than steel yet lighter than [aluminium] – graphene is the strongest known material.”

People are not sitting idly by. It’s being worked on right now.

Again from the same article:
"Graphene’s unique combination of extraordinary properties offers a fascinating material platform for the development of next-generation technologies in many areas – wearable and superfast electronics, ultrasensitive sensors, multifunctional composites and coatings, membranes, medicine nd biotechnology, energy harvesting and storage.

Since its first demonstration in 2004, graphene research has evolved into a vast field with approximately 10,000 scientific papers now being published every year on a wide range of topics."
~ Jamie


I am sorry to interject this but this is quite a coincidence Apex flex for sale rn probably just not the one you wanted to see. :rofl:


Those bastards! I was excited to click that link and now I am just mad.


I have warned ya

I half expected a Rick roll, and I was both relieved and sad when I clicked the link XD
Nice find though!


A “review” of the Apex Flex

I’d heard whispering of its development for years. Its prior iterations were smaller by several orders of magnitude, and I was surprised to see North Face as the distributor. I’ll admit the new form factor was intimidating, but I went in with an open mind and a stiff upper lip.

Thermally insulated
Cheaper than expected
Fits like a second skin

NFC capabilities don’t seem to be working
Certain features like pockets and zippers are inaccessible
Lightheadedness and fever
Fits like a second skin

Supremely difficult to have installed. Every installer from the Partners Map that I called about it either hung up immediately after I sent them the link, or called me a lunatic before dramatically ending the call. I realized I’d have to do what I swore to myself I never would. Self-install.

North Face rudely didn’t include any installation tools, so I had to make due with the as-yet-extra drape, gauze, and chlorhexadine wipes from my xG2 kit. And so, armed with DT’s largest flex installation needle and a gibbering prayer (along with copious amounts of Everclear) I set to work.

It’s a singularly unique experience installing a thermal layer beneath the dermal layer. It was a mostly clean installation, though a few mistakes are to be expected when the shaking gets too bad. I’d received a noise complaint from my neighbors for the screaming, so I recommend some light jazz or lo-fi hip hop to drown it out. I must say, two little CH wipes were difficult to stretch over the entire upper torso and thoracic cavity, not to mention the single small gauze pad, but luckily it worked out. I could’ve used a larger drape, though. That rug, chair, and curtains will never get the stains out.

Long term results aren’t looking too good, but I have faith in Amal’s products. He hasn’t let us down yet.
Will update you again Soon™.


This was both hilarious and extremely uncomfortable to imagine, thank you for the laugh!


I clicked, you got me. My camping side went oh thats actually kinda cute, so I clicked again… and wouldn’t you know… its COMING SOON. I am dead right now.


That is sad for you I get 404 on few of them but also DISCONTINUED/Buy from distributor on some, probably geolocation based.

@amal Any updates? :weary:

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SOON™-O-Meter recently increased from 3 to 4 of 5.
More details are in the DT Club so can’t talk about it :confused:


Hey everyone! I’ve got an update here. I am programming batches of Apex Flex now. I have about 200 units ready to go through programming, then we’re going to start getting updated addresses for everyone who was in the Flex one beta program and pre-order from the DT club.

I also have a surprise update! We now have a gas plasma sterilizer unit financed and shipping to us in the next couple weeks. We had to get this sterilization unit because DHL no longer allows us to ship vials with chlorhexidine solution inside. It’s considered a hazardous material and they do not allow it without special permits and training in a certified packer signing off on every parcel. Also special materials are required to ship hazardous products and it just made more sense to invest in a clinical sterilization unit than to try to work around the chlorhexidine problem.

So now, I can say that all Apex Flex will ship fully clinically sterilized! They will ship in dry sterilization pouches that have been processed, no longer in vials.



Does that affect installation? Does it change lubrication requirements for the implant?


No installation procedure is not affected by this change.




Awesome news, and really cool that you’ve now got a steriliser big plus. Any idea of general sale time?

I’m guessing general sale will start around 30 days from now or about 2 weeks after we get the sterilizer up and running.


Thanks Amal!! Great news. Love your hard work

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