«Using artificial implants in surgeries to support human tissue or bone that isn’t functioning optimally anymore is commonplace. But what if those implants also could monitor on-site what’s going on inside the body and report back to physicians?  That’s the promise of new custom, 3D-printed smart metamaterial implants developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. The implants—which are called cages—can be used in spinal-fusion surgeries to provide support not only to replace the disk that was once there, but also to monitor the healing of the spine following the procedure, researchers said.»

«“Smart implants can provide real-time biofeedback and offer many therapeutic and diagnostic benefits,” said Amir Alavi, a Pitt assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, whose Intelligent Structural Monitoring and Response Testing (iSMaRT) Lab led the research.»

«However, incorporating devices with typical bulky electrical circuits and power sources would not be possible in an area as small as the one where an implant is placed in spinal-fusion surgeries, he said.»

Article written by Elizabeth Montalbano.



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