New Titanium Makes Artificial Bones Lighter, Stronger, Foamier

09.23.10 7 years ago

If you’ve ever seriously shattered a bone, doctors probably kept it in place with titanium rods. But since titanium is twice as stiff as bone, it can cause severe joint problems if it’s supporting all of your weight. Well, scientists at the German medical firm Fraunhofer have come up with a solution: make titanium that has the same flexibility as bone.

That’s what the sponge-like metal you see in the picture is. It’s a titanium foam, which uses an open structure to create flexibility and to allow bone cells and blood vessels to grow into the implant. They can even change the density of the foam so that an implant going into a finger bone isn’t as heavy as one that’s going into a femur.

All of which means you can finally be just like Wolverine…but without weighing 10 tons.

[Wired]

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