indust ryt ap.co m
http://www.industrytap.co m/bro ken-bo ne-bio degradeable-magnesium-implants-replace-steel-titanium-sup...
Most have heard of the use of steel and titanium in the body to provide support f or broken bones. While these
materials a...
According to
Kirkland,
today’s
magnesium
is much
purer. As a
result, the
team has
designed and
tested over
160 alloys
that...
Finally,
through
controlled
“alloying”,
specif ic
rates of

Valle ys o f Bio mate rial (Imag e Co urte s y www.nkirkland ....
Industrytap.com broken bone-biodegradeable_magnesium_implants_could_replace_steel_and_titanium_support
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Industrytap.com broken bone-biodegradeable_magnesium_implants_could_replace_steel_and_titanium_support

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Answers to some scientific and engineering challenges once languished because efficient and timely cross disciplinary cooperation was not technically feasible; there was too much "friction" in the communication process.

Biologists, for example, knew nothing about materials science and materials scientists, nothing about biology.

Nicholas Kirkland, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Nagasaki University, and colleagues, including a small team of biologists and engineers, have been finding novel ways to use magnesium to create completely biodegradable orthopedic materials.

In the book Magnesium Biomaterials: Design, Testing, and Best Practices, Kirkland and co-author Nick Birbilis, Director of the Materials Engineering department at Monash University, discuss the types of in vitro experiments that can be performed and investigate the important variables that determine the performance of magnesium as a biomaterial.

Breakthroughs are now allowing Kirkland to use bio-compatible magnesium implants in orthopedic applications.

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Transcript of "Industrytap.com broken bone-biodegradeable_magnesium_implants_could_replace_steel_and_titanium_support"

  1. 1. indust ryt ap.co m http://www.industrytap.co m/bro ken-bo ne-bio degradeable-magnesium-implants-replace-steel-titanium-suppo rt/17943 Broken Bone? Biodegradeable Magnesium Implants Could Replace Steel and Titanium Support Answers to some scientif ic and engineering challenges once languished because ef f icient and timely cross disciplinary cooperation was not technically f easible; there was too much “f riction” in the communication process. Biologists, f or example, knew nothing about materials science and materials scientists, nothing about biology. T his led to misunderstandings and questionable, if not incompetent, uses of many materials and experimental techniques. Now, due to enhanced levels of communication via the Internet, this is beginning to change.
  2. 2. Most have heard of the use of steel and titanium in the body to provide support f or broken bones. While these materials are generally considered inert and do not negatively af f ect the body, they are also permanent and of ten require secondary surgeries f or removal or replacement. Young Scientist Making Progress with Magnesium Nicholas Kirkland, Assistant Prof essor of Biomedical Engineering at Nagasaki University, and colleagues, including a small team of biologists and engineers, have been f inding novel ways to use magnesium to create completely biodegradable orthopedic materials. In the book Magnesium Biomaterials: Design, Testing, and Best Practices, Kirkland and coauthor Nick Birbilis, Director of the Materials Engineering Nic ko las Travis Kirkland (Imag e Co urte s y www.nkirkland .c o m) department at Monash University, discuss the types of in vitro experiments that can be perf ormed and investigate the important variables that determine the perf ormance of magnesium as a biomaterial. Kirkland and Birbilis have revised and perf ormed new electrochemical and animal tests with magnesium, which previously had a checkered history. Common misconceptions of magnesium date back to World War II, when plane components built f rom it f ell apart. For the past century, magnesium used by materials scientists was of ten impure, which led to rapid corrosion and undesired reactions with living cells. T his coupled with the release of hydrogen gas made the use of magnesium in biochemical applications untenable.
  3. 3. According to Kirkland, today’s magnesium is much purer. As a result, the team has designed and tested over 160 alloys that include calcium and zinc, as well as more exotic elements such as rare earth. Magnesium alloys typically have better Po lyme r te mp late (Imag e Co urte s y www.nkirkland .c o m) mechanical properties and corrosion resistance than pure magnesium by itself . A typical mix is 98% magnesium and 2% calcium. Magnesium alloys have the f urther advantage of actively promoting cell growth and have even displayed anticancer characteristics. Breakthroughs are now allowing Kirkland to use bio-compatible magnesium implants in orthopedic applications. Unf ortunately, it is not possible to use 3D printers with magnesium due to its high reactivity. T he team has developed a new method of f orming magnesium implants through a novel sodium chloride (salt) based casting technique. T his new method allows the creation of structures of any shape with exceptional accuracy, is completely biocompatible, and enables prototyping and casting to be done in just half a day. T his technique also enables implants to be designed on an individual patient basis, rather than the more common “one size f its all” method, which is hugely benef icial in many implant situations.
  4. 4. Finally, through controlled “alloying”, specif ic rates of Valle ys o f Bio mate rial (Imag e Co urte s y www.nkirkland .c o m) “biodegradation” can be obtained providing the f lexibility to meet the many varied healing times required f or dif f erent implants in the body. T his can range f rom as little as a week to over a year. Once biodegradation occurs, all the substances exit the body through normal biological processes, leaving no trace of their existence af ter their purpose is served. Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) to Help Speed Up Discoveries Last summer IndustryTap wrote about the “Materials Genome Initiative” (MGI) and how a centralized database of inf ormation on materials will greatly reduce research time and costs in developing new materials and products. In lockstep with this development is a huge wave of materials science innovation that is radically changing the way things are designed and made. For more on Nicholas Kirkland, visit his website where you’ll f ind links to publications, presentations and projects. David Schilling David lives in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts, and regularly visits MIT, Harvard, Boston University, Northeastern, Boston’s leading companies and labs, the stacks at Boston Atheneaum and Boston Public Library to uncover and research story ideas. You can also f ind David on Google+.

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