Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications


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The Noble Metals

In many cathedrals throughout Europe such colored glass windows can be found. The earliest medical applications of gold went up to the year BC. The Chinese used this precious metal to achieve a healing effect.

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The full potential in biomedical applications, however, revealed nanotechnology. Tumor-targeting techniques that exploit the existing Greek for bios - life and compatible; substances having no negative impact on living organisms or tissues, behave neutrally in the body and do not cause allergic or toxic poisonous reactions.

Particularly relevant for implants e. Currently, tumor-targeting drug delivery systems with gold nanoparticles are in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of clinical testing. They showed promising results so far. In the field of diagnostics, the precious metal convinces by its testimony reliability and sensitive power with minimal material usage. Thus rapid tests, such as for pregnancy or for Salmonella , E. Compared with solids in suspensions, solids in a colloid do not precipitate, i. However, the applications of nano gold are not only limited to the medical sector.

Also the tiny gold particles can be used in air and water purification, for example via the efficient binding of mercury emissions into the atmosphere.

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Attempts were made to produce cheap and efficient fuel cells with nano- gold, a major clean-energy technology of the near future. One of the largest and still growing industries, the information and communication technology ICT , can also hardly refrain from the use of gold. Here it is used for the development of conductive nanoparticle inks, for example, to print on plastics for electronic applications, because it has high durability and excellent resistance. Further investigations on touch-sensitive displays with gold nanoparticles show enhanced values, as well as these particles can cause a further improvement of flash memory devices e.

In particular, the current standard conductive material for touch screens indium tin oxide ITO , could be replaced by the combination of nanoscale gold and carbon nanotubes CNTs in a transparent layer. The numerous applications of gold nanoparticles are mainly based on the unique properties of these tiny particles. They show very high biocompatibility and are thus non- Refers to the hazardous potential of a substance. Hence, to develop adverse reactions in cells and living organisms, and to compromise functionality, which can lead to the death of an organism.

Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications by Thierry Copponnex, Niklaus Baltzer

It can be distinguished as direct and indirect toxicity. In the first case the toxicity of the substance is based on an interaction with the organism by directly intervening in metabolic processes or molecular structures. In contrast, a substance may also cause a change of physical factors in the environment e. Often, indirect toxicity is also understood as an effect of substances emerging from a non- toxic substance, e.

Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications by Thierry Copponnex, Niklaus Baltzer

Gold is not self-inflammable as nanometer-sized powder. Also as a mixture with air dust under the influence of an ignition source, gold is not inflammable, so there is no possibility of a dust explosion. Gold occurs on earth in the primary raw materials as gold-bearing rock gold ore and in secondary deposits as fine metal.

The world's annual production is currently about 2. Significant amounts of gold are produced during the refining of other metals such as copper, nickel or other metals. So sometimes only these "impurities" lead to an economical exploitation. Large parts of gold nanoparticles are now obtained via the reduction of gold chloride solution so-called tetra-chloro-aureate.

This process uses different materials as a reducing agent, such as citric acid, oxalic acid, boron hydrides or others. Alternatively, it is also possible to generate such nanoparticles via laser radiation or UV light irradiation. However, these differences do not affect the machinability of palladium compared to platinum significantly. Also, like platinum, palladium is resistant to corrosion and oxidization, making it inert in organic environments.

This means it is biocompatible in both soft tissue and bone environments and is hypoallergenic. These properties make palladium a highly desirable material to replace platinum, especially since the material is lower in cost than platinum due to its greater abundance. It also makes palladium a great choice for medical applications. Platinum and palladium are often mistaken for one another, which is understandable considering their many similar physical and chemical properties.

Some of their shared traits include:. While platinum and palladium are nearly identical in appearance and react to similar chemicals and elements, they do have several key differences. These differences mostly come down to density, melting point and price:. While palladium is largely similar in functionality to platinum and comes at a lower cost, it is still slow to overtake platinum in the market.


  1. Platinum Vs. Palladium Plating in Medicine!
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Despite these factors, both metals are gaining traction in a variety of industries. Today, companies employ platinum and palladium in the production of numerous components. Plating with these materials is especially popular, particularly for automotive and electronic applications. However, the most innovative applications for these metals and their alloys arise in the biomedical industry.

The physical and chemical properties of platinum and palladium make them ideal for biomedical applications.

As whole pieces, they can form into nearly any shape and size. As metal coatings , however, they can accomplish even more. Platinum and palladium electroplating results in a thin layer of material between 0. Some of these properties include:. These benefits have led companies to seek platinum and palladium for some biomedical plating applications.

By plating these devices with platinum, manufacturers protect the implant from corrosion and protect the patient from non-biocompatible materials. These chemical and physical properties make platinum an ideal pick for many applications, including:. The primary limiting factor for using platinum in biomedical devices is cost — while some applications require platinum for its high density and somewhat better manufacturing workability over palladium, many manufacturers choose to defer to the cheaper of the two options.

Palladium is as biocompatible and workable as platinum, making it equally usable for medical implants. With similar resistance to corrosion and strength, palladium plated biomedical devices are used in several applications, including:. The use of palladium in biomedical devices is widespread, but is currently not common in orthopedic implants, since platinum is much more firmly established in that area. In most other applications, you can use palladium and platinum with near-equal efficacy and reliability.

In these cases, manufacturers may prefer palladium and its alloys over platinum for the sake of cost.

When choosing to plate an implant or implant component with palladium or platinum, most medical manufacturers defer to platinum, the more established of the two. Platinum has been in use in the biomedical industry for 40 years , while palladium was introduced as a viable biomedical option more recently.

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While this is a short delay, it has resulted in palladium getting a slower start in the biomedical field. Experts do expect research in palladium applications will eventually bring palladium on equal footing with platinum, but it will be several more years before the two are truly interchangeable plating options.

However, outside of this difference in preference, there are few meaningful variances between the materials. Though the disparities in density and melting points are substantial, they make little difference from a manufacturing or biomedical standpoint. Platinum is the preferred choice for companies that want the more established option with a broader range of applications. However, when price is the primary determining factor, palladium often wins the decision. SPC has worked with medical device coating projects of all types and sizes and is one of the few metal finishing companies that has mastered the art of plating onto titanium.

With almost a century of experience in metal finishing techniques, SPC is the best resource available when you need high-quality medical metal finishing.


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We have the extensive equipment, facilities, resources and experience needed to meet the needs of any medical manufacturing project, and our staff will work with you to develop a finishing process specifically for your medical application. Even better, we are an ISO-certified and progress-focused organization, meaning we make quality a priority.

In short, we guarantee the best results possible every time. Contact SPC today to learn more about palladium and platinum plating options for the medical industry and how SPC can help you achieve the best medical-grade coating possible. Get in touch for your free, no-obligation quote or schedule an on-site consultation to discuss options that fit your needs and budget. Platinum Vs.

Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications
Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications Precious Metals for Biomedical Applications

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