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Huntsman Materials Produce Artificial Bones for Medical Testing

19 August 2005

Before introducing new designs of artificial implants, parts must be tested to verify their strength and durability over time. Bacause cadaver bones vary in strength due to the donor’s age and health, many research facilities now rely on infused epoxy composite bones.

As the number of joint replacement and other orthopedic surgeries performed in the U.S. increases, medical companies are continually working on new and improved artificial implants. e. For this fatigue testing, Inc. The composite bones exhibit physical properties comparable to that of human bones and feature the added benefit of consistent performance characteristics.

Pacific Research Laboratories, Vashon, Washington, has produced functional, cost-effective, artificial bones for use in medical education for more than 25 years. Today, the company uses of a variety of materials to build more than 2,000 models of bones including hip, spine, pelvis, knee, shoulder and elbow-wrist. Supporting the manufacture of the diverse range of composite bone replicas fabricated by Pacific Research for implant testing are the RenCast 2000 resin/Ren 2000 hardener epoxy system used for the molds and RenInfusion epoxies used for void-free part infusion. The products are supplied by Huntsman Advanced Materials, East Lansing, Michigan.

Forrest Miller, president of Pacific Research Laboratories, says, “When we began building our first composite bones, we produced really tough parts using unidirectional fiberglass cloth and epoxy, but they didn’t fracture like real bones would. Today, we use filled RenInfusion epoxies to mold bones with consistent stress/strain characteristics that are similar to that of live bone.”

Artificial bones are infused over a removable metal core and foam end-caps using Huntsman’s epoxy system filled with chopped glass fiber.