Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Break a Leg

And set it immediately thanks to technology:

A portable plastic splint that heat-welds itself around broken limbs is being developed to aid skiers and others who take part in extreme sports.

To apply the splint, strips of tough but flexible plastic bandage are wrapped tightly around a broken limb and attached to one another using Velcro. Once the strips have been applied, a solution of sodium citrate gel is poured onto the splint.

This triggers a chemical reaction with metal strips embedded in the bandage, which the makes the solution rapidly crystallise to form a solid. The same process generates heat, providing warmth to the injured limb.

....The splint can be easily carried by skiers or snowboarders in a rucksack and, in the event of an accident, as many strips as needed can be used to cover and protect an injury. After rescue, the splint can be cut away by doctors.

Earlier in March, the splint won the Grand Prize at the Design and Innovation in Plasturgy competition, which is sponsored by the French plastic industry.

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