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Sep 26, 2010

Titanium Foam Builds Wolverine Bones

Eat your heart out, Wolverine. The X-Men superhero won't be the only one with metal fused into his skeleton if a new titanium foam proves suitable for replacing and strengthening damaged bones.

Bone implants are typically made of solid metal – usually titanium. Though well tolerated by the body, such implants are significantly stiffer than bone.

This means that an implant may end up carrying a far higher load than the bone it is placed next to, according to Peter Quadbeck of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials Research in Dresden, Germany. In a worst-case scenario, the decrease in stress placed on the bone means it will deteriorate, while the implant loosens and needs to be replaced.

Spongy inspiration

Now Quadbeck and colleagues have created a titanium implant with a foam-like structure, inspired by the spongy nature of bone. The titanium foam does a better job than solid metal when it comes to matching the mechanical properties of bone, such as flexibility, and this encourages more effective bone regrowth.

What's more, the foam is porous, so the bone can grow around and within it, truly integrating the implant with the skeleton.

The titanium foam is made by saturating polyurethane foam with a solution of titanium powder and binding agents. The titanium clings to the polyurethane matrix, which is then vaporised away along with the binding agents. This results in a titanium lattice which is finally heat-treated to harden it.

Though the foam has yet to be approved for use in humans, Quadbeck and colleagues are now working with physicians to explore its suitability for treating certain injuries.

Peter Lee of the Department of Materials at Imperial College London is impressed. He says there are applications where inserting one of these titanium foams "looks like the most promising solution", such as bridging long gaps between broken bones.

Yuyuan Zhao, a materials engineer at the University of Liverpool, UK, adds that "if human bone isn't good enough, an implant could give your body better performance" than leaving bone to heal naturally or using other types of implant.

49 comments:

razortek said...

Supp Bro :D
Cool post bro!

Michele said...

Cool!
Supp

shirou said...

interesting..

Megaviljami said...

Wow, this is seriously interesting: Love your blog man, one of the few that has actually awesome content

Naj said...

wow! cool news!

Von Biohazard said...

hooooly shit , thats pretty amazing!

etaylo said...

killer!

Splash87 said...

That's crazy! I totally would want Titanium infused bones.

The Ambassador said...

That's pretty interesting.

Crunky said...

wow... with titanium foam, I can make... incredibly strong beer!

Pig Disgusting said...

got tam i want summa them wolverine claw things

pigdisgusting.blogspot.com

EdwardPrinceofWales said...

haha im using titanium foams!

Djoni Vejn said...

ooh cool :)

Janus Kane said...

Wow... Thats amazing, mate. Just amazing. I have literally dreamed of this day coming. I demand that your next article be about the regeneration elixer. Halloween is coming up soon, and I'm not half-assing Wolverine.

-JKane

dotVillain said...

This makes him even more vulnerable to Magneto D:

http://timryvers.blogspot.com/ said...

god that's so epic, makes me feel like breaking all my bones

Barnacle said...

haha no fan of wolverine :(

Basement Assassin said...

this makes me wish ill break a bone sometime soon haha

Sohn Jmith said...

Come at me bro. Awesome blog name.

Come at ME!

http://bicyclesandwich.blogspot.com/

ShredGuitar said...

Awesome!

Biff Tanner said...

Awesome

Indie0987 said...

We are one step closer to being cyborgs \o/

Cris said...

great film! ^^

LivingChaos said...

Titanium bones are neat, but I want the regenerative power the most.

Swift Love said...

looking forward to the next update...

Executive said...

Very cool!!

is daft said...

Yup, totally the next purchase i am making!

Zykei said...

that's pretty cool

Oscar said...

sweet post

chasityxo said...

i want!!!!

zach said...

The gap between scifi and reality closes a bit more everyday

Twiggy said...

That is so awesome!

bigLUCC said...

I'm thinking of getting metal legs, I hear it's a risky operation but it would totally be worth it. LOL

lulz88 said...

wow interesting

fat daddy said...

interesting.

David said...

Now, if We could figure out Wolverines regenerative powers.

C.J. Hyatt said...

Amazing. I wonder what kind of applications this will have in robotics. I know some people that work in biomimetics and their big problem is always weight.

KC. said...

So if the bone through the titanium foam, will the resulting infusion be stronger than the bone itself?

Could this have elective applications for high-risk individuals? Individuals such as the elderly?

Ishu said...

My dad have had 3 operations, and has titanium implants xDDDD

Mr. Smith said...

Wonder where I'd want titanium foam in my body...

Sparrow said...

as someone who has a considerable amount of implants, this is awesome news to me.
Stopping in just to say, from one blogger to another, that your blog is awesome!

modest crisis said...

Do want! :p

Travie said...

Wow great info

Structus Postumus said...

having titanium bones? Man, that would be wicked!

tonyman33 said...

LOL wut? their actually gonna do this? oh scientists....

Nicholas Ferrar said...

very cool indeed, if not exactly like wolverine, got me all excited

Life Through Fog said...

sounds cool

Oni said...

sign me up, i want to have this implanted in my hands so i can go beat the crap outa people!

Hotsaucer said...

Very interesting.....