April 23rd, 2018 Editors Materials, Orthopedic Surgery University of Connecticut researchers have created a new orthopedic material for fixing bones that’s made out of spider silk, itself one of the world’s strongest natural materials. While silk fibroin, the protein in silk that gives it strength, is already in use in sutures and other medical devices, this is the first time it was made into an extremely tough polymer composite.
The new material, a combination of silk and polylactic acid, a biocompatible plastic, has impressive mechanical characteristics that are similar to metal. But, since there’s no metal, there aren’t metal’s negative side effects such as the potential for inflammation and bacterial colonization. In tests, the material showed resiliency and strength, and with more research, there’s hope that the material will show an ability to readily integrate into the body and the body’s cells into itself.
A study in Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials: High-performance resorbable composites for load-bearing bone fixation devices Via: the University of Connecticut At Medgadget, we report on the latest medical technology news, interview leaders in the field, and file dispatches from medical events from around the world.
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