A small piece of material is being touted as a revolutionary way to treat knee and hip replacements.
A delicate butterfly-like invention made from hydrogel can be altered to mimic skin, ligaments or bone, and scientists from the Australian National University believe it may lead to a new class of medical implants.
"It's able to hold about…1000 times its own weight," ANU PHD student Ming Li Tan told 9News.
"At the moment if you a have a knee reconstruction and then you have to take a ligament out of your hamstring and put it in your knee there's no synthetic material that can do the job of a ligament," Lead Senior Researcher, Associate Professor Luke Connal, said.
The device can help self-heal, much like the human body.
"Instead of a full tear it would basically have a little tear and then over time it would just quickly heal itself, and come back to its original properties," Assoc. Prof. Connal said.
"If it was a biomedical implant it can basically self-heal within the human body without the need for additional surgery," Ms Li Tan said.
Researchers are currently trying to turn the material into printable 3D ink which would be used to customise implants for individual patients.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/new-technology-revolutionary-way-to-treat-knee-and-hip-replacements/2952101a-374e-4020-b3eb-969e48127ca2