Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today

Ramblings of a College Introvert

We’re responsive creatures, always yearning for some kind of carnal or spiritual fulfillment. So many of our conversations are dedicated to that one question: What makes us feel alive? For me it’s neither people nor adventures. It’s the shapes and colors that make up a city I love.

When I took a semester off in Cali, all I could think about was how much I missed NYC and how exciting it would be to blog about college life there. But four months after I returned to NYU I’ve only written four posts on my adventures here in the Big Apple. Ostensibly it’s because I just haven’t had the time. In reality it’s because I’ve kind of lost confidence in my writing. I don’t think I’ll ever be as good a writer as I would like to be, and I certainly don’t think I’m good enough to capture the sense of wonder I feel every time…

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Bioengineering

Metal in Artificials Joints

In my Inorganic Biomaterials class this semester we learn about differents materials that have applications in medical devices and how they are used. I’ve learned about metals, ceramics, and composites and how they are processed to improve how they work in the body. We have learned a lot about metals because they are one of the most widely used materials with the stem constructed out of titanium or cobalt-chromium. For hip joints the round head is usually cobalt-chromium or ceramic, and the cup that it fits into is made of a polymer, although some are metal or ceramic.

The stem is made of metal in all artificial hips to make sure that it is strong enough to withstand the forces in the joint. The problem is that metal are too strong.The metal stem is stronger than the bone that it is implanted into, so it will tend to take on most of the forces that are applied to the joint. The problem is that bone is a living material and when it doesn’t  feel the compression forces it normally would it begins to weaken. This can cause loosening as the implant separates from the bone. So contrary to what you would think, we actually want metal that is weaker so that it better matches the natural properties of the bone. Another problem is that metal and bone have very different structures. The smooth surface of metal is nothing like the porous structure inside our bones. Osteoblasts, the cells that make bone don’t attach well to the smooth surface of metal, so bone won’t grow around the implant to hold it in place. To change this people have developed different ways of added metal coatings to implants that look more like the structure of bone. The osteoblasts like this surface better than the normal smooth surface, so the bone is more likely to grow around the implant, holding it in place and making it more difficult to dislodge. The picture on the right shows bone (left) growing on Trabecular Metal (right) which has been engineered to mimic the natural structure of bone.

Basically, scientists are working to try and make the metal in artificial joints more like bone so that the body responds better to it.

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It’s Not Just You

The Daily Dahlia

Confession: probably my biggest pet peeve on the planet is when people start a question with “Am I the only one who…?” No. You’re not. You’re not the only one who writes that way, reads that way, likes that food, likes that band, thinks Benedict Cumberbatch sounds like a Game of Thrones character or looks like someone squeezed Spongebob and stuck googly eyes on him…you’re just not. But. There’s a different kind of “Is it just me?” feeling, and that’s the stress of when you’re drowning in something and nobody’s talking about it and you feel like everyone’s got it together but you, and so you don’t wanna say a thing, and it all snowballs until you basically wanna curl up and die. I know that feeling. It’s why I wrote this post after splitting with my first agent. So in case you are wondering any of these things, I…

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