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Stronger-than-steel palladium glass paves way for dental implants of the future


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A team of researchers at Caltech and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a new type of glass that's stronger than steel, but it might not make it out of your oral surgeon's office. The material is a combination of glass' simplest form, called marginal glass, the metal palladium, and small fractions of phosphorus, silicon, germanium, and silver, making it resistant to massive amounts of pressure and strain. A glass this strong has endless potential in the way of structural application -- think cars, planes, and bridges. Thing is, though, palladium is super expensive, and researchers involved in the project say the best applications are in products like dental implants, which are currently made of soft, stiff noble metals, more likely to cause complications like bone atrophy. Chances are we won't see super strong glass bridges anytime soon, but the new glass dental implants could be in your mouth as early as 2016.

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