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Nanotechnology may offer safer implants

Akron, Ohio — Nanotechnology may be the key to developing safer breast implants, Medical News Today reports.

In a review published in WIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, lead author Judit E. Puskas, Ph.D., of the University of Akron, notes that the only material options currently available for breast augmentation and reconstruction are based on silicone rubber — and that an extraordinarily high rate of complications is reportedly attributed to silicone breast implants, including increased incidence of systemic diseases, various forms of cancer and psychological disease.

Dr. Puskas and his team surveyed the literature on breast implants from the perspective of material science to determine how nanotechnology could be applied to developing safer devices. Noting that unprecedented properties can be achieved by reducing the size of the components in nanostructured materials, researchers are developing a material that will minimize the kinds of complications associated with silicone rubber.

According to the review, the new material also will have the ability to deliver cancer drugs locally to improve efficacy of treatment and to minimize side effects.

Medical News Today quotes Dr. Puskas as saying, “If successful, our material could be used for implants with drug delivery capabilities. We are hoping that this review will contribute to a better understanding of the controversial issues and motivate material scientists and medical doctors to work together to develop alternatives based on new nanotechnology for the women who opt for a device made of synthetic materials.”

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