Monday, April 7, 2008

The implant

So the implant is in, and my finger is healing. I'll take a step back, as I never went in to the size, shape, and appearance of the magnet that I had implanted. The magnet was one of several samples that I received from a scientific supply company, and was designed as a magnetic stir element (a little disc that would be in a test tube on top of a magnetic stirring machine.) The dimensions are roughly 3.5 mm in diameter by .6 mm thick, with a Parylene C coating of about .05 mm.
The magnet on top of a dime.

While it looks like a plain old magnet, it is actually coated with a transparent layer of Parylene C, which acts as a biocompatible barrier that protects the magnet, and in turn my finger. Since the magnets are specifically designed to rotate under influence of other rotating magnets, I think that they are particularly well suited. Additionally, since there is no silicone sheath, there is no soft buffer to dampen vibration between the magnet and the surrounding tissue.

As far as I know I am the first to receive a Parylene coated magnet like this one, so the next few weeks/months will tell if it is viable. Part of me is a tiny bit paranoid that the coating was compromised in shipping, or during implantation. Such defects would not be visible to the naked eye, or most conventional optics. Since I didn't have an electron microscope handy I'll just have to trust that the coating was intact.

As far as healing goes, things appear to be going very well. It's been four days since the implantation and the incision has almost completely healed. The area of skin above the magnet is still slightly discolored, but is no longer painful to the touch. Yesterday I noticed a dull pain in my tendon, extending all the way up my forearm. It quickly subsided and has not returned.

I can't wait until it heals completely!

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