Scientists in Israel have come up with a way to cover prosthetics and joint replacements with a human tissue-like coating. A new application of a 200 year old electroplating process might be the future of complication-free joint replacements.
Replacement joints have always been sprayed with a compound that helps trick the body into thinking that they are natural bone. But the new process, developed by Tel Aviv University Professor Noam Eliaz, uses electricity to charge the replacement joint, and the charged metal pulls the coating from an electrochemical bath, similar to the very old technology of electroplating.
This new coating method makes the applied synthetic tissue pretty much indistinguishable from actual bone tissue. This process tricks the body into thinking the replacement joint is actual bone and accepting the replacements much more easily. The team has reported 33% fewer complications with this new coating process.
And as these coatings improve, doctors will get closer and closer to being able to say "We can rebuild him. We have the technology." Or maybe to "upgrade" humanity into some sort of race of Cybermen...[via PhysOrg]
(Image: an electron microscope image of the synthetic coating, from AFTAU)