Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Synthetic Scales Attach Medical Implants

Synthetic Scales Used for attaching in vivo medical implants

A team of researchers at the University of Chicago, have found a way to "grow" tiny scales that can be used for a variety of applications including fixing medical implants in vivo. Previous models used synthetic polymers which were easy to construct, but would degrade over time. The team's solution uses two biocompatable materials, calcite and silicone, which when combined at the molecular level, produces a structure that is both strong and flexible. When tissue is placed against the scales, each about the size of a red blood cell, they attract calcium from the living cells and grow into the tissue, affixing itself in place. Learn more about this amazing advance in medical device placement at University of Chicago.