Titanium has gained a lot of attention since it was first discovered, thanks to its unique properties. According to a report on ThoughtCo, titanium’s strength is like that of steel, but it’s 45% lighter. Besides being lightweight and strong, titanium is resistant to corrosion, can withstand extreme temperatures, and it’s inert, meaning it doesn’t react when exposed to water and oxygen at room temperature. These properties make titanium one of the most sought after metals in the medical field.
While titanium has been used to develop dental tools for decades, today this metal is used to design a variety of biomedical implants such as hearing aids, spinal fusion cages, pacemakers, eye implants, and knee replacements. Innovations like titanium plate frame eyeglasses have also become popular because they are stylish, lightweight, and durable. Keep reading to learn more about the unique uses of titanium in the medical field.
Titanium for Orthopedic Implants
The primary function of orthopedics is to correct bone deformities that occur as we age, or to fix fractures following an accident. To make durable and compatible joint replacements and treat bone fractures, doctors use titanium plates, bars, and rods for cranial plates, bone screws, rib cages, knee replacements, and prosthetics. Although titanium is strong, it’s lightweight and promotes the binding of bone and tissue without an adhesive. Another reason doctors prefer titanium for orthopedics is its ability to resist high impact, thus preventing breakage. Titanium also guarantees flexibility and maximum comfort.
Customized Surgical Equipment
When manufacturing surgical instruments, manufacturers look at the ductility or malleability, strength, and biocompatibility of metals. This means the metal used to manufacture surgical tools must be ductile enough to maintain the original shape without defects. Likewise, surgical tools, like scalpels, scissors, and tweezers that are long and thin, should be strong enough not to break during surgery. These reasons explain why manufacturers of surgical instruments are always in search of titanium tubing supply from reliable vendors. Reputable suppliers sell high grade titanium tubing of different lengths to meet the specific needs of their clients.
Because titanium tubes are strong and malleable, it’s easy to customize complex titanium surgical devices using 3D printing. Titanium is also ideal for surgical instruments since it’s lightweight, and that prevents hand fatigue during long surgical procedures. It’s also resistant to corrosion, meaning you can sterilize it repeatedly without worrying about stains or damage. Not to mention, titanium is anti-magnetic, meaning titanium alloys are allowed in MRI rooms. It’s also safe for patients with titanium implants to use MRI machines.
Titanium Dioxide as an Antibacterial
Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics has caused some bacterial strains to become resistant to treatment. This has become a prominent concern for human health. And with the growing need for reducing health pandemics, the demand for effective antibacterial properties has increased.
Besides being non-corrosive, stable, and non-toxic, titanium contains photocatalytic properties. This means titanium dioxide is an excellent antimicrobial agent when synthesized to nanoparticles. Since photocatalysis is a green technology, there’s no need for chemical additives like hydrogen peroxide to enhance the efficiency of titanium dioxide to degrade toxic metal ions or kill bacteria and viruses.
Titanium is a transition metal characterized by high strength and low density. It is also corrosion resistant and binds with bones and tissues without adhesives. The non-corrosive and biocompatibility nature of titanium makes it perfect for making dental implants, surgical tools, and orthopedics. Titanium also has the potential to fight stubborn bacterial strains and viruses when synthesized as titanium dioxide nanoparticles.