New Super Polymer From U.S. and Israeli Scientists
Biloine W. Young • Wed, December 13th, 2017
Two Israeli surgeons used material co-developed by Israeli and American scientists for NASA in successful orthopedic operations.
The material, a polymer-made ballast, was intended to be a substitute for the steel in jet engine bearings. It was used in orthopedics in Israel in a hip replacement operation a few months ago and, most recently, in knee joint surgery.
According to its developers, the polymeric ballast is self-shielding, has high heat resistance, zero wear, high strength, is lightweight and resilient to loosening and cracking. These properties, they say, make it ideal for the medical world.
Known scientifically as MP1, the material was developed jointly by Alisa Buchman, the Chief Technology Officer of Nahariya-based Israeli tech start-up M.M.A. Tech Ltd, and American Professor Rob Bryant, Ph.D., a polymer scientist who serves as a member of M.M.A. Tech’s board of advisors. It has a “superior combination of strength, toughness, wear, creep and fatigue resistance for the orthopedic field.” While it is still in the experimental stage, he said that it has properties that can give better results than existing materials.
“One of the problems with existing implants is wear and tear,” explained Daniel Levine, M.D., one of the surgeons. “Over time patients will have to undergo repeat surgery and replace the implant due to loosening and cracking. The expectation of the new material is long-term durability and the possibility for patients to live with a better quality of life.”