The only problem is that to make the implants, the plastic and glass particle mix has to be heat-treated. At higher temperatures the glass particles react with the polymer, making chemicals that you don't want inside your body.
Jose Ramon Sarasua and Aitor Larrañaga, researchers in the materials engineering department of the University of the Basque Country, have proposed a way around this problem: treat the glass particles with a plasma, an ionized gas that alters the chemistry of the particles' surface.
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The result is better thermal stability for the implant material - meaning it can be heat-treated like other plastics, and still be safe for use in the body.
Sarasua told Discovery News that the implant his team designed isn't meant for breaks bigger than an inch or so, at least not yet. And it is designed for situations in which the bones might not heal well. It would, however, be an alternative to the steel pins that often have to be employed now, and reduce the number of surgeries patients with big breaks have to go through.