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Tutorial MenueThe World of the Platinum MetalsLearning Unit 5 of 5

Platinum in Medical Technology

Further Applications

In addition to the previously mentioned properties, the good X-ray visibility of platinum makes it attractive for further applications.

Stents (Abb. 1) , which are implanted in patients suffering from arteriosclerosis and the resulting blockage of coronary arteries, consist of very thin-walled elements that are generally invisible to X-rays. The X-ray visiblity is therefore achieved by means of additional markers that are applied to the thin elements. These markers are made of platinum. Similar markers are also used to render so-called guide wires visible to X-rays. These markers can be either ring-shaped or made from a coiled wire.

Furthermore, a material has become available for stents which has been alloyed with more than 30 wt.-% platinum to increase its X-ray visiblity.

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