EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2014

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breakthroughs Silk-Based Screws Could Help to Heal Bone Fractures Researchers from Tufts University in Massachusetts have developed surgical plates and screws made of silk protein from silkworm cocoons. They hope that the material might someday replace metal in fixation devices, which can increase the risk of infections and cause stress to bones because of their stiffness. "Unlike metal, the composition of silk protein may be similar to bone composition," according to Tufts researcher Samuel Lin. "Silk materials are extremely robust. They maintain structural stability under very high tem- peratures and withstand other extreme conditions, and they can be readily sterilized." Another benefit of the silk mate- rial is that the body will absorb it over time, while metal screws and plates have to be surgically removed. "One of the other big advantages of silk is that it can stabilize and deliver bioactive components, so that plates and screws made of silk could actually deliver antibiotics to prevent infec- tion, pharmaceuticals to enhance bone regrowth and other therapeutics to sup- port healing," says David Kaplan, Tufts chair of biomedical engineering. The silk screws are not visible on x-ray, which, according to the research- ers, may make it easier to assess the healing process of the fracture. The researchers tested the screws successfully in laboratory rats. Before they start clinical trials for applications in humans, they want to conduct larger animal models. They published their findings in the journal Nature Commu- nications. —T.K. High Performance Cooled CCD Cameras for OEM Spectral Instruments has a demonstrated history with OEM partnership and design of custom cameras tailored to your demanding application. s /UR INTERNAL ENGINEERING CAPABILITIES ARE UNMATCHED s #OST EFFECTIVE DESIGN OF CAMERAS SPECIlC TO YOUR APPLICATION s %XPERIENCE AND DEPENDABILITY TO PRODUCE STATEOFTHEARTSCIENTIlC imaging and measurement systems Contact us today to learn how we can provide the solution for your OEM camera needs at 520-884-8821 or info@specinst.com 420 North Bonita Avenue | Tucson, Arizona 85745 520.884.8821 | info@specinst.com | specinst.com/emdt 20 th Anniversary 1993-2013 ES430902_EMDT1405_018.pgs 04.29.2014 03:34 UBM black yellow magenta cyan

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