Wonderful Engineering

New Screws And Plates Made Of Spider Silk Will Change The Way Doctors Deal With Bone Fractures

We are witnessing an era where new vaccines are being found, previous methods are being improvised and new breakthroughs being achieved. Our today’s post deals with such an advancement as well where previous practice has being discarded and a more efficient methodology is being adopted.
 We are all aware of the fact that steel plates and screws are employed whenever support is to be provided to bone structure and how they help the bone to grow without deforming.

However, a research being carried by researchers from Tufts University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, has produced some amazing results. They are making use of screws that have been prepared from a material, which is produced by silkworms and so far, this new technique has been used on rats to heal bone fractures. It has been observed that this methodology is far more efficient compared to the conventional methods.

Why is this method far more efficient? The answer is quite simple; silk when compared with steel is much more biocompatible and therefore, more easily accepted by body instead of steel. This helps during the healing process since the chances of infection are minimal. Since the strength of silk is good as well, it more resilient to body fluids and the temperatures which human body goes through. However, the best part is that it gets broken down and is absorbed by body so you need not to get operated again to have the steel removed from your body as well.

According to Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Said Ibrahim, they are planning to put in some antibiotics to the mix as well during the molding phase to minimize the infection probability even more. The test results are quite promising (the ones carried out on rats) and now the team is planning to attempt experiments with bigger animals such as sheep or pigs before they move on to humans.  Oh and the best part is that once you get these implanted, you won’t be hating metal detectors that much and you won’t have to explain how you got the injury to the relevant security team. The silk is also invisible to x-rays and will allow monitoring your progress much more efficiently. Therefore, this new technique will change the way we deal with fractures and bone injuries. Great job, Researchers!