Every year, millions of patients suffer bone fractures that require surgical implants. Many of these patients face painful, costly secondary operations to remove these nonabsorbable implants, which are typically made of titanium or stainless steel. The use of implants made of bioabsorbable polymers could address the latter by enabling the implant to be absorbed by the body once it has served its purpose in assisting bone growth. Although such bioabsorbable polymers are currently available, they are not always strong enough to rigidly retain the bone geometries surgeons design and set.
With support from the National Science Foundation, Thixomat subsidiary nanoMAG, LLC, of Livonia, MI, has developed a novel alternative — a bioabsorbable alloy called BioMg 250 that has twice the strength of polymers used in commercial bioabsorbable implants.
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