Science fiction programs and films often feature robots and metal body components. Such circumstances are no longer in the realm of science fiction visionaries. Today’s medicine is using specialized metals in many applications to improve people’s daily lives. Medical specialists today see this not so much as Borg but as better health care.
Heart and Brain Help
Special body wire is helpful in many applications, including for pacemakers, heart valves, stents, and aneurysm coils. Patients benefit from high-tech titanium alloys and other specialized metals that keep their hearts beating and protect their delicate grey matter.
Stronger Joints and Spines
The areas of joint replacement and spinal health have improved greatly due to medical metals. Stainless steel and other specialized materials replace diseased and damaged hips and knees, and they also help pin broken and fractured bones in place to heal properly. Spinal disc replacements from long-wearing alloys give patients living with pain and immobility the chance to freely move and live comfortably.
Dentists and orthodontists regularly use metals for treatment. Crowns, teeth implants, bridgework, and corrective appliances all depend on today’s high-tech metals for improving patients’ oral health as well as giving them beautiful smiles.
High-Tech Metals for Today
The field of medical-grade metals is fascinating because these same materials that help keep the heart beating or replace a painful joint or spinal disc are also used in specialized industrial applications as well as the aerospace industry. These metals are prized for their resilience, endurance, strength, radiopacity (visibility in X-ray images), and resistance to corrosion. Therefore, they are prized for delicate applications both inside and outside the human body.
That such specialized medical metals have multiple other particular applications in sensitive areas is a way of connecting humans to the wider universe. At the same time, precise use of a particular alloy to replace a missing tooth can make a huge difference in one life. This immense versatility is truly the stuff of science fiction, but it is also real today.