Silicone Implant History Essay

511 words - 2 pages

Silicon Breast Implants In the mid 20th century when Silicones were initially developed by Dow Corning, they were though to be completely inert - not reacting to any chemicals in the body. Silicones are very stable at high temperature, which allows them to be easily sterilized and used during surgery or as implants opening the possibility of a myriad of medical uses.During the early years, animal studies showed that a whole series of familiar synthetic materials, nylon, Teflon®, Mylar®, polyester, silicone and polyethylene, could be implanted over a long period of time with minimal irritation or other physical response. The excellent implant behavior of a number of materials fueled the thinking that most synthetic polymers would be safe.Initial small scale manufacturing of breast implants began in the early 1960's , used primarily after mastectomies.During the 70's Dow Corning made changes to the sack, eliminating a seam and making the material thinner. The first lawsuit based upon implants rupturing came in 1977. Large scale manufacturing proceeded by General Electric in the late 1970's..The oversimplified manufacturing process looks something like: · Buy some HCl and methyl chloride.· Mix Si and Cu, heat the mixture and flow the two gases, HCl and CH3Cl over the Si and Cu catalyst.· Take the product (CH3)2SiCl2 (9), and react it with water.Collect the methylsilicone polymer, form it or encase the gel form in plastic for use as implants.Silicone is not used only for implants, it has been used for hundreds if not thousands of products ranging from gaskets,...

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