Magnesium: The Future of Medical Implants?

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Screw-like pins made from titanium or stainless steel are often inserted into the body to provide stability and aid in the healing of broken bones. The problem with these types of metal implants is that they typically remain inside the body indefinitely, which could lead to health complications down the road. Medical researchers have recently discovered that pins made from magnesium could prove to be a better orthopedic alternative in the foreseeable future.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a chemical element that’s found in abundance in the Earth’s crust and below the surface. In its metallic form, magnesium is lightweight and strong, making it suitable for a wide range of industrial applications. Magnesium also plays a key role in human health and biology, and it is a natural nutrient essential for building healthy bones.
Learn more about magnesium here.

Benefits of Magnesium Implants

Magnesium is an attractive orthopedic alternative because, unlike stainless steel or titanium, it is a biodegradable substance. The use of magnesium could conceivably eliminate the need for an invasive procedure to remove the surgical pin at some point. Researchers have developed and are diligently working to perfect a magnesium pin that will safely dissolve at a controlled rate over time. Since magnesium is essential to human health, a magnesium pin or implant would also have long-term nutritional value for the patient.

Early Results Are Promising

While magnesium pins have yet to be used in clinical trials with humans, prototypes have produced promising results when inserted in the bodies of laboratory rats. The biggest challenge scientists currently face in developing implants for humans is being able to precisely control the rate in which the magnesium pin degrades inside the body. Magnesium released in large quantities could produce a hydrogen byproduct that would potentially jeopardize the health of the patient.

Sharretts Plating Company Will Be Ready to Provide Magnesium Products to Healthcare Professionals

When scientists finally perfect the magnesium surgical pin and orthopedic implant development process, SPC will be perfectly positioned to produce them on a large scale for the medical community. SPC is currently one of the few metal finishing companies in North America capable of plating on magnesium with coatings such as copper, nickel or gold.
At present, we produce satellite components made from magnesium alloys that can be coated with non-magnetic electroless nickel and gold for applications requiring maximum corrosion and wear resistance.

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Check Back for the Latest Developments in Magnesium Implant Technology

As magnesium implant technology evolves, you can count on SPC to keep you informed of the latest advancements. We’ll also be at the forefront in the development of magnesium plating innovations for a wide range of industrial applications.