Subdermal Armor



  • What is needed is some kind of superstrength material that is porous in that it allows tissue growth THROUGH the material, so as not to cutoff the skin when large panels are used. Should be flexible, light, and relatively thermal-neutral so that the penetrating tissue conducts heat normally.

    But, I'm much more interested in doing things now/soon, than discussing the far-fetched. Something that can be accomplished within a year interests me, something that's got to wait until we're living on Mars does not.
  • Well, Mars is supposedly going to be settled by 2020.

    And glims, is there a reason the titanium/bone mesh wouldn't work? obviously the titanium's not going to provide the majority of the protection, and you'd still need to do density training on the bones, but the titanium mesh could help prevent the extra bone from scattering everywhere when/if the bone broke, and bone is porous. And even a light lattice of bone, properly placed, could provide worth-while protection for arteries, nerves, and perhaps even some implants. 
  • Another issue that you might run into with the titanium mesh/bone implant is the change in structural integrity. Remember that Titanium is much stiffer than bone, and the  lack of stress on the bone itself could cause deterioration. But, the fact that it reduces stress on the bone also has some positive effects too. I guess you'd have to find a balance between the stress on the titanium and the stress on the bone.
  • @countseven you are talking about a titanium bone mesh implant, not a titanium mesh implanted over pre existing bones? I want to shoot that one down, but it's the most viable concept so far. of course you will still run into the fouling issues... but if you coated it with phospholipd coatings the way they do with standard bone replacement implants, you will get a degree of bioproofing, plus some reinforcement as the mixed charge molecules do a little calcium sequestration. this will increase the bodies acceptance of the structure as well.
  • i suggest that everyone interested in this topic head over to the mit opencourseware classes on the design of medical implants and devices. it's a good course and useful.

  • Thanks, I'll add it to the list of things I need to take.

      And I was talking more about a implant that would start out as a titanium/Calstrux(or something similar) implant. Then the bone would grow into it, as it replaces the putty, with the titanium mesh being grown around, as a framework for the bone.  It would be a long-term project, in terms of the bone actually growing, but it could work. And you could use it as an alternate form of creating bone mounts for devices, as you'd be encouraging the bone to grow around the mount, insead of screwing into living bone.
  • The MIT course is good, but it lacks some important slides. The Berkley course is on youtube. Can't find link right now, but searching for "medical device design berkley" should bring it up. It isn't exactly a crash course.
  • Perhaps that's the next project. Enhancing muscle and bone strength.
  • @countseven  this would be doable. it would require a serious amount of monitoring and at least some preliminary experimentation on rats or something. non baseline growth procedures tend to be... a bit unpredictable.  there are mulitple reports of bone growth starting in places where bones aren't supposed to be. that's no fun.
  • Slightly off the beaten path here, but what about implants defending against chemical weapons and airborne contaminants? That'd be useful... Pretty much everywhere. Read something about artificial lungs. It'd be a big implant, but you could modify it to block the things you didn't want to breathe up.

  • That's actually what brought calstrux to my attention, since there's been reports of small bits of it separating from the patches where it was used and forming bones in other spots.  It'd definitely require some careful monitoring for 6 months or so, but after that, assuming everything went right, it would be a custom designed support bone. You could even use it to support and protect wiring for long-term implants, making the question of having a flexible cable less important. It'd definitely require some careful CAD planning and testing though...and maybe some artificial cartilage, depending on if you want joints or not...

  • Or maybe contain the contaminant filters in a tracheal implant.
  • Joints are usually something that you need for effective armor systems, otherwise you end up with increased wear on adjacent surfaces, like other armor plates. They also increase the shock absorbing properties of the armor. 
  • @TheGreyKnight, make another thread for that, if you some ideas on it.  Personally I love the idea, but I don't think it's quite workable yet. 
  • Merge with a nano-suit. ♥
  • edited October 2013
    Whatever you may choose to use, if you are implanting it, I would suggest that it be coated in hydroxyapetite.
  • Any particular reason for doing so?
  • The compound hydroxyepetite will not be rejected by the body and will likely be considered by the body as part of it's own tissue. 
  • edited October 2013
    But, I reckon its a lot more expensive than some of the other bioproof materials available. Also probably considerably more difficult to use..
  • wouldn't that potentially trigger osteogenisis in areas that we are not looking to induce it? 
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but I feel the need to revisit topic and see what kinds of new options have developed. Anyone thought of any new or fresh ideas on how to do this?
  • Not that I know of ;) However, if you popped over to grindcore's blog, they have described some of the issues we discussed here when the posted the "removal of the pokedex" entry...
  • Grindhouse, bruh. You keep saying grindcore, and I'm like "Huh?? Dafuq does Napalm Death have to do with _______ idea??" xD
  • blarg, i did it again... it just sounds so natural to me... 
  • Gore-Tex is not even slightly bullet or stab resistant.
  • Could you substitute a fabric like Cut-Tex Pro?
  • edited September 2014
    Maybe hypothetically, but I don't think it would be very useful. The sorts of attacks those fabrics stop are the sorts of attacks you don't want penetrating your skin at all - like long draw cuts. Putting that sort of armor under the skin counteracts a large portion of its utility. It may help with stab/puncture wounds, but even then you're already allowing the weapon to pierce flesh and then the garment has to "give" deeper into tissue to absorb the attack.

    The original idea was for ballistic protection because even the horrifying injuries that would be cause by absorbing a projectile in a laminated hard plate just under the skin, are far better than a hole through the chest cavity. The potential injury is significantly lessened compared to unarmored, and nobody who isn't in a bullet-attracting profession wears ballistic armor regularly. It's much easier to routinely wear cut/stab resistant armor as part of your wardrobe (I wear blast boxers and undergarments*), and the relative reduction in injury from unarmored to subdermally-armored is much less pronounced than with subdermal ballistic plates.

    *Not just in case something tries to injure my junk, but also because they're pure silk!
  • Being durable is good, and Gore-Tex is, but it isn't armor. Even 20+ plies of it will be vastly inferior to 20+ plies of Kevlar, Twaron, or PE-based armor fabric. Gore-Tex is good for other inside-the-body applications, and it is a very useful, durable fabric for use in outerwear, but it is not armor-quality.
  • What about interweaving Kevlar and Gore-Tex? Have the bonding properties of Gore-Tex and the Ballistic properties of the Kevlar.
  • That MIGHT work, but it would certainly result in a thicker, weaker armor panel. There are a few armor makers who make panels that are encapsulated in Gore-Tex for protecting the armor from the elements, perhaps a better approach would be a thin armor panel (probably Twaron) wrapped in the usual heat-sealed Nylon or a more bio-friendly version, and then that resulting assembly wrapped in Gore-Tex to encourage tissue adhesion and bioproof the whole shebang.

    I doubt this will solve the issues of vascular/nerve isolation of the skin over the panel (discussed earlier), though.
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