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Energy squeeze: Squeezing silicone polymers produces chemical energy but raises doubts about implant safety

Scientists turned to squeezed polymers and free radicals in a search for new energy sources. They found both promise and problems. The researchers demonstrated that radicals from compressed polymers generate significant amounts of energy that can power chemical reactions in water. They also discovered that a silicone polymer commonly used in medical implants releases a large quantity of harmful free radicals when the polymer is under only a moderate amount of pressure.
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A polymer is a mesh of chains, which slowly break over time due to the pressure from ordinary wear and tear. When a polymer is squeezed, the pressure breaks chemical bonds and produces free radicals: ions with unpaired electrons, fu...


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