human-pelvis-and-skeleton-10014863A team of medical engineers at Tufts University developed screws from medical grade silk that has the potential to replace metal fixtures in the body. The silk screws have been studied in rats where it is implanted into the hind limbs and functioned successfully for four to eight weeks before dissolving by the end of the study. The low stiffness of the silk screws makes it very similar to bone. Coupled with its ability to dissolve in the body and the added benefit of not interfering with x-rays, set off alarms or cause sensitivity to cold, the 100% natural silk fibre allows it to be a viable bioengineering material for repairing fractures or replacing any other hardware that you do not want to be left in the body.

What other potential medical uses of these silk screws can you think of?

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