Medical Metals

Researchers at North Carolina A&T State University are developing new materials that could revolutionize medical treatments. Right now, every metal that goes into the body does so with the notion it will stay there forever, but NC A&T is developing smart implants so that the body could simply absorb the foreign materials once their work is finished.

NGSS Performance Expectation: Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What types of problems does a bio-materials engineer solve?
  2. How does magnesium interact with the body?
  3. How does titanium interact with the body?
  4. What makes an element resist corrosion?
  5. Compare the traits of titanium with magnesium and come up with a hypothesis for why magnesium alloys might dissolve.
  6. What are the questions Dr. Zhigang is asking about the size of the metal rods?
  7. What are materials by design?
  8. What are the steps involved in this dream becoming a reality?


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