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Composite visit the doctor

News International-French

20 Jun 2019

Although composite materials may have a lower profile with the general public than in the aerospace and automotive sectors, they have also been used in the medical sector for many years. In the Western world, where the population is ageing as the global population is growing, the medical sector can rely on the properties of composite materials as it pursues its goal to enhance the experience of patients, both in hospital and in their daily life.

Composites visit the doctor

Composites visit the doctor

Composites provide higher strength and wearability when they are used for implants. For med-ical imaging procedures, their transparency contributes to better diagnostics. Whether they are made of carbon or glass fibre, their low weight is revolutionizing the design and fabrication of orthopedic prostheses to improve the lives of people with amputated legs or arms.

The progress of composites in the medical sector also opens new doors to the possibility of in-creasing the physical capabilities of the human body to produce significant achievements that seem likely even today to outstrip our biological limits – whether it is with full or partial ex-oskeleton structures to provide force assistance, or with above- and below-knee prostheses that mechanically provide a performance potential greater than that of “100% biological” athletes.

Restoring mobility:


C-FREX consists of a bipedal walker made of CFRP for people who have suffered spinal damage. By assisting ankle, knees and hip joint movements, this nonmotorized solution makes it  possible to get up from a wheelchair and walk.



Minimizing postoperative complications:


The ageing population is remaining active longer, prompting a shift in dental prosthetic uses. Composites can provide solutions to a number of medical issues, including the complications linked to metal implants and the growing shortage  of the raw materials  traditionally used. Createch Médical proposes dental implants that include the use of PEEK.




Better diagnostic tools:


Medical imaging is being prioritized more and more in the health sector. The steady progress in the techniques is making it possible to detect diseases earlier and more precisely. In this regard, the quality of the images is crucial for more targeted treatment. The composites used for the Magnetom Vida MRI scanner made by the German company Siemens contribute to more precise diagnostics by reducing interference during the scan, unlike the magnetic properties of metallic materials.


Containing medical fluids:


Carbon-composite cylinder technology provides significant clinical benefits to patients, especially those who are ambulatory. Physicians often encourage ambulation for oxygen patients, and cylinder weight is an important factor in a patient’s ability to remain active. Luxfer carbon-composite cylinders are the lightest portable oxygen cylinders available in the market today, which makes them an ideal choice for ambulatory patients. Luxfer is the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminium and composite cylinders, with four manufacturing facilities in the U.S., as well as plants in England, France and Australia.


Guaranteeing surface hygiene:


Nothing is more important in a health facility than maintaining strict standards of hygiene. Thanks to glass-reinforced plastics (GRP), it is possible to create surface coatings that are resistant to both hospital products and food, thanks to anti-bacterial properties. The products of Lamilux Composites are ideal for use in the public areas of health facilities, and are also used in operating suites.



Pushing the limits:




Above-knee protheses have been used for racing in the Paralympics for many years, but the general public was really only made aware of them during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, when an amputee runner participated in the regular Olympics. German company Ottobock proposes the 3S80 model with a hydraulically rotated knee joint that has been optimized specifically for running races. The 1E90 carbon spring foot also has a carbon socket. These prostheses are designed for both amateur and veteran runners.




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