A team of scientists at the North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University have been developing biodegradable sutures for medical use. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Jag Sankar and his team are working toward producing plates, staples, hard stents and surgical screws that dissolve away safely in the body. This study is in response to the increased risk of complications if surgical implants are not removed.
"We need to create a material database," Sankar explains. "What suits for me at my age is different from [what] somebody else [needs]."
Although the final products are far from being finished and given out, the team has confidently started using various amounts of magnesium in their experimental alloys. Magnesium is naturally used by the body, so it has shown to be good for use in a biodegradable implant.
Another scientist on the team, Sergey Yarmolenko, describes their progress like this: "We are developing a recipe."
Source: National Science Foundation