Japanese researchers have created an elastic iron alloy that could be used in heart and brain surgeries, and maybe even to reinforce buildings in earthquake zones, Reuters reports. According to the team, the metal’s super-elasticity lets it return to original form, and has additional properties like ductility. With a stress level about twice that of nickel titanium, the iron allow can be used to deliver stents—tubes placed in blood vessels to keep them from collapsing. “Currently, heart stents are delivered into the body using nickel titanium but the diameter of the wire is too thick to go into the brain, so iron alloy will be the answer,” researcher T. Omori of Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Engineering told Reuters. “This material can be used for buildings in earthquake zones. The buildings are deformed by earthquake, but super elastic alloy can return the building to its original structure.”
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