Did you know that..? Value of glass fibre in medicine

24. March, 2017

Glass fibre is a unique product used to repair and refurbish buildings and rooms as well as the way to the stars, i.e. to create space technologies. Probably, the usefulness of glass fibre in medicine is less known. Glass fibre is radiolucent, durable, light and easy-to-shape; therefore, it is an ideal material for making radiology beds, panels, bodies, support structures, safety and control devices. The material’s surface is suitable for making medical devices as it can be used to cast complex shapes with high structural durability, and the end product has a premium class finish with outstanding aesthetics and extremely convenient to clean.

From glass fibre, medical bandages can be made to be used for fractured bones as an alternative to plaster casts. A glass fibre bandage is a soft cloth saturated with polyurethane resin that is activated when it contacts water, and the cloth becomes hard within 3-4 minutes. A glass fibre bandage is lighter and, if the appropriate padding is used, is water-proof. This bandage is usually used for children, especially in summer, and for people who are in daily contact with liquids or are in a highly humid environment. Doctors choose glass fibre bandages because putting them on is much cleaner and more convenient compared to plaster.

Glass fibre is widely used in dentistry: for bonding to prevent teeth movement and in tooth implants. Transparent glass fibre tapes are used to bond moving front teeth by bonding the tooth to the adjacent teeth, and fibre pins are used in tooth restoration and for restoring dental crowns. The use of these materials is cost- and time-efficient, as the tooth can be restored in one visit. Fibre pins are fully bio-compatible, similar to dentin tissues, they are mechanically and chemically durable, the probability of material fracture is low, but if needed the pins can be easily removed. They are aesthetic, as the material is light-transparent and does not color the tooth dark.

Photo: Magnetic resonance equipment. Photo© Siemens