High-tech medical plastics will help Boston Marathon victims


As swarms of police staged a door-to-door manhunt in Watertown, MA, doctors at nearby hospitals in Boston continued working on at least 40 victims of the Patriots Day Boston Marathon bombing still in serious or critical condition.

Surgeons say they are using plastics technology developed to save and improve lives of soldiers wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan in the past 10 years.

Those with severe head wounds could be treated with cranial implants made with polyetheretherketone (PEEK) or one of its close chemical cousins. Those with amputated limbs or feet could use new high-tech prosthetics often made with carbon composites or reinforced engineering thermoplastics that provide toughness and strength.

Pioneering work with custom-fitted cranial implants for wounded soldiers was done at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, D.C. The custom implants made with additive manufacturing (3-D printing) technology cut surgical times by more than 50%....
Read more