Scientists from Russia have developed a material that may replace bone, joint and muscles
It is possible to create a wearproof replacement for bones, joints and muscles on the basis of material, that was developed in the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS).
The research has shown that polyethylene with very long molecules can become the basis for artificial analogs. At the same time, it must be wearproof and non-toxic.
On the high molecular weight polyethylene basis scientists have also created a bone replacement. The inner layer of the material is porous, simulating the biological structure. This was achieved by combining solidphase mixing and thermo-pressing methods. A supercritical fluid was used to create pores. It was converted from water to gas under certain conditions and evaporated leaving pores with a material content of 80%. Engineers strengthened the polyethylene with carbon nanotubes, doubling its wearproof. According to the calculations, the implant service life will exceed 15 years.
«Such material is well cut, that is benefit for surgeons. It also has the shape memory. If you compress it, and then put in the right place, it will extend. So it can significantly reduce the time and complexity of the operation,» said Fjodor Senatov, Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics, Researcher of the Center for Composite Materials NITU MISiS.
This polyethylene can also be used as artificial muscles. It shrinks under cooling and expands when heated. The material imitates the contraction and stretching of muscles. Curiously, the developers plan to use the material not only for operations, but also for flexible robots creation. Control of muscles and the dependence of motion on external temperature are in question.
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