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Metals for Implantation

Despite the great numbers of metals and alloys known to man, remarkably few warrant even preliminary consideration for uses as implant materials. The relatively corrosive environment combined with the poor tolerance of the body to even minute concentrations of most metallic corrosion products eliminates from discussion most metallic materials. Of the possible metallic candidates, tantalum and the noble metals do not have suitable mechanical properties for the construction of most orthopedic tools and implants, while zirconium is in general too expensive.