PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Surgical staples. Three surgical staples made from memory metal. These staples are at different temperatures, increasing from left to right. They are used to close surgical wounds to promote healing. These staples are put in place cold (blue), and as they heat up, they close. The red staple is at body temperature. Memory metal is an alloy of nickel, titanium and aluminium or copper. It can be deformed easily from the shape in which it is manufactured, but returns to its original shape on heating.
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