Metal has proven itself as a superior material for engineering due to its durability and long-lasting power. Whether you’re a patient in need of an implant or an engineer wanting to select the right materials for your medical device, it’s crucial to learn about this fundamental material and its value in the production of medical technology.
Begin your exploration here by following a brief guide on the use of metals in medical devices.
Copper is a type of metal that’s renowned for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which is why it’s chosen as the material for surfaces like bedframes, doorknobs, and external hospital equipment in a medical setting. Copper is rarely employed as an implant because it’s considered a soft metal that can promote toxicity in human tissue.
Titanium is a type of metal used for skeletal support devices and bone replacements. Titanium has a similar level of endurance and strength to stainless steel but is lighter in density. Titanium is suitable for dental implants because it can be 3D printed to customize devices from a patient’s X-ray.
Aluminum is a less biocompatible type of metal but is regularly utilized in constructing medical equipment that provides daily support for patients. Wheelchairs, IV stands, and other forms of orthopedic support require a material like aluminum because it is lightweight and noncorrosive.
Stainless steel is the best metal type for medical products. Stainless steel is noncorrosive, durable, and can be easily cleaned to avoid the risk of contamination. It’s not uncommon for patients to be allergic to nickel, which is also why stainless steel is a valuable substitute.
Cobalt chrome is a metal alloy of the chemical cobalt and chromium. Cobalt chrome is a metal that is utilized for oral implants and joint replacements because it has high wear resistance. Like titanium, cobalt is also a type of metal that can be 3D printed for customized devices.
When a developer requires a medical device with the highest degree of strength, they trust metal for a nontoxic and durable application for products designed to withstand mechanical stress. You’ve learned about several important metals in this brief guide on the use of metals in medical devices. In addition to these, other honorable mentions for metal materials in medical technology include magnesium, gold, silver, and iridium.