Stainless Steel Wire in Medicine & Surgery

One of the many sectors in which stainless steel wire is of incredible importance is that of medicine and surgery. The versatile component facilitates numerous applications, from creating implants and diagnostic devices to use in innovative surgical techniques like laparoscopy (more commonly referred to as 'keyhole surgery'). 

Some of the key applications that stainless steel wire is used for in the medical sector include:

  • Orthopaedics. This is a wide and diverse field which includes spinal, reconstructive, sports and trauma medicine. Corres­pon­dingly, stainless steel wire is used in a vast array of orthopaedic products including for sutures, bone screws/pins, fracture fixations and cerclage cables (used to close the cervical opening in order to prevent premature birth).
  • Orthodontics. In addition to several uses in implant dentistry, shaped stainless steel wire is the best material for creating a number of orthodontic devices from springs to self-litigating brackets. In this particular field, the mechanical properties of stainless steel are of course important but the material's aesthetic qualities are also of special significance.  
  • Endoscopy. An endoscopic procedure is designed to allow medical professionals to look inside the body in the most efficient way while causing minimal discomfort to the patient. Such procedures (including things like removing gallstones, performing biopsies and retrieving foreign objects) are facilitated by extremely fine cables and strands of stainless steel wire.
  • Sundry Surgical & Medical Devices. There are so many ways in which stainless steel is used in the creation of various devices that it would be impossible to list them all here. A random sampling would include spring mechanisms in syringes, suture wire, needles, stylets, brushes and post-surgical staples.

There are many reasons, some of which are listed below, that stainless steel is the material of choice for so many different medical applications.

  • Strength. Steel is one of the strongest materials on the planet. In comparison with almost any other material, stainless steel boasts the most impressive and thus advantageous strength-to-weight ratio. 
  • Formability. Stainless steels, particularly those from the austenitic Grade 304 family, are noted for being especially ductile and so are easy to fabricate. The material can be easily machined into virtually any size or shape. 
  • Hygiene. Cleanliness is of course absolutely vital in the medical sector. Stainless steel has an exceptionally-high intrinsic hygiene value and requires the lowest concentration of disinfecting chemicals to ensure that this value is maintained. This makes the material ideal in healthcare environments, which typically contain potentially-damaging chemicals like peroxide, bleach and iodine along with organic matter such as blood and other bodily fluids.
  • Cost-Effectiveness. The innate durability and low maintenance of stainless steel almost always make it the lowest-priced option when total life-cycle costs are taken into consideration.  

To find out more about the comprehensive selection of stainless steel wire types and grades supplied by BS Stainless, please browse our website. If you have any further questions or require expert advice, please get in touch with a member of our dedicated technical team. 

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