Article by Guest Blogger – Gerald Jackson. The article below is by a guest blogger.
Precious Metals and Alloys: How They Have Significantly Impacted the Medical Industry
The medical and dental industry relies on tools and instruments that are durable, reliable and can be machined to extremely precise measurements. Many of those instruments are used in life saving procedures where exact accuracy is needed. For instruments to work as they should and be able to perform the tasks they are designed for, precious metals and specific alloys are often used to manufacture them.
Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are the metals of choice for medical manufacturing companies. Because precious metals are often less substantial than steel or iron, other metals like copper, zinc or tin are added to them for stability and strength. The new alloys are stronger, more durable and will not corrode or rust like tools made out of iron or steel. Because of their unique composition, medical machining can be performed much easier, allowing for extreme accuracy and precision.
The impact precious metals and alloys have had on the medical industry is immeasurable. Instruments are not the only items made from these durable materials. Dental implants, cardiovascular implants and neurological stimulation devices are also made of high quality alloy-based precious metals. Drug-delivery systems and endoscopy devices also require the use of instruments made of special metals and alloys.
Medical machining of devices allows them to be manufactured to exact specifications. Being able to do so allows doctors to implant devices made of these metals into extremely tight spaces within the body. The ability to perform medical procedures that involve micro technology would not be possible without the use of instruments and devices made from these materials. The precise nature of many medical procedures requires physicians to use medical instruments that have been machined to 1/1000th of an inch, in some cases.
One of the main benefits of using precious metals and alloys is that they do not corrode or break down if implanted within the body. Metal screws, plates, pins, dental implants and neurological simulators are meant to remain within the body for long periods of time, constantly being exposed to heat and moisture. Because of how they are made and the types of metals used in the manufacturing process, these devices are capable of performing quite well within their intended environment.
Medical instruments that are manufactured by medical machining techniques are designed to be used during specific procedures must also be extremely accurate. The use of metals such as copper and zinc to stabilize and strengthen precious, weaker metals allows them to be used in operations where delicate precision and firm pressure are needed so the physician can work freely and effectively. Clamps and sutures are just two surgical tools that have been greatly improved with the use of precious metals and alloys.
The use of gold, silver and other precious metals also reduces the risk of allergic reaction or rejection by tissues within the body. Objects implanted or used within the body for long periods of time can be “rejected” by the body. When this happens, the immune system recognizes the implant as an intruder and begins to attack it causing pain, inflammation and other physical symptoms. By using precious metals to manufacture these devices, the risk of rejection and subsequent infection is dramatically reduced.
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