Monday, December 10, 2007

Spare Parts

I would like to direct you to a wonderful post on medical implants, Spare Parts. It is written by Lakshmi Gopal over at Nonoscience. She starts off:

"Soon after a deadline has passed, I end up treating myself to a movie, and this time, it was Hot Shots Part Deux. The only thing that made an impact on a brain fresh (or would that be exhausted?) with materials design was the various implants in the body of President Tug Benson. The president had ceramic eyes, asbestos skin, magnetic skull plate, aluminum siding facial bones, and stainless steel ear canals.



Artificial implants have been known for a long time [1]. My grandmother tells me that my ancestors had golden tooth implants, to showcase their wealth. I am told that after a certain age, they would pull out their perfectly normal teeth and replace them with gold and silver tooth (depending upon their financial position) and swore off manangombu and mysore paks for the rest of their lives. If I were given the choice between golden teeth and murukku , I would most definitely choose the latter. But I digress.

The first recorded case of implant was an accident. In 1952, Per Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon was following the processes of bone healing by embedding microscope heads made of titanium metal in holes drilled into thighbone of anesthetized rabbits. .............."

She goes through a list that includes hip implants, artificial bones, dental implants, eye implants, biologic stents, materials used in cranioplasty, facial implant materials, etc. It is well worth reading.

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