Coming Soon to a Body Near You: Advanced Medical Implants Made of Biodegradable Metal

A $1.5 million grant will allow researchers from a consortium of different schools develop body-degradable implants that can be calibrated to dissolve after a predetermined amount of time.

Body-degradable metals are not a new innovation; in fact, they've been in use for over a hundred years. So why is it such a big deal that a new $1.5 million grant by the National Science Foundation will now allow researchers included in a consortium of universities to develop medical implants made of dissolving metals? A press release from the University of Pittsburgh explains:


"The consortium seeks to design devices that can adapt to changes in a patient's body and dissolve once healing has occurred, reducing the follow-up procedures and potential complications of major orthopedic, craniofacial, and cardiovascular procedures and sparing millions of patients worldwide added pain and medical expenses."

If you've ever had a temporary medical implant inserted into your body, you know what a pain it is to eventually have it removed once healing is complete. You basically have to recover all over again after the second surgery. Now researchers at Pitt, as well as from other schools headed by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, are working to minimize the lasting effects of leaning on those metal implants.

Imagine you have a steel screw inserted into your face after reconstructive surgery. Once your features have been restored and facial bones are repaired, the screw simply dissolves. Doctors would be able to select specific screws for various recovery times. They also wouldn't have to worry about the screws dissolving too early if recovery takes longer than expected.

Take a look at the full release (linked below) to learn more.

Read more at Product Design & Development

Photo credit: Praisaeng / Shutterstock

Related Articles
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less