A novel transparent skull implant may reportedly provide a “window to the brain,” holding implications for new treatment options for patients with life-threatening neurological disorders, including traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The team of University of California, Riverside researchers note that the implant is comprised of yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), which is the same ceramic material used in hip implants and dental crowns. A news story from the university emphasizes that a key difference in the material is that it has been processed in such a way that it is made transparent.
The news story notes that the team’s advancement of YSZ allows it to be used as permanent window through which doctors can aim laser-based treatments. The story adds that the team hopes the YSZ windows may facilitate the clinical translation of promising imaging and neuromodulation technologies developed under this initiative.
The story also reports that while the team’s YSZ windows are not the first transparent skull implants, they could potentially be the first used in humans, thanks to the inherent toughness of YSZ, making it more resistant to shock and impact than glass-based implants previously demonstrated by others.
Photo Caption 1 (above right): Members of the research team, from left, Javier Garay, Yasuhiro Kodera, Carissa L. Reynolds, Yasaman Damestani, Guillermo Aguilar, Masaru P. Rao and B. Hyle Park.
Photo Caption 2 (left): A version of the transparent skull implant developed by UC Riverside researchers.
[Photo Credit: UC Riverside]
[Source: University of Riverside, California]