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July 13, 2015

'Smart implants' dissolve after healing


NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials is developing biodegradable metals for surgical implants

We all know that injuries happen and doctors sometimes have to use metal screws or plates to support broken bones while the bones heal. What if that implanted metal just disintegrated on its own after the injury heals?

A team at the NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is working to transform current medical and surgical treatments by creating "smart" implants. The major goal is to revolutionize metallic biomaterials to improve treatments for orthopedic, craniofacial, neural and cardiovascular ailments.

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Engineering Research Centers are interdisciplinary, multi-institutional centers that join academia, industry and government in partnership to produce transformational engineered systems, along with engineering graduates who are highly skilled at innovation and primed for leadership in the global economy.

The research is this episode was supported by NSF award #0812348, NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials.

Miles O'Brien, Science Nation Correspondent
Ann Kellan, Science Nation Producer


Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.